Rossi Comments on Laguna Seca
From Superbike Planet:
Rossi Interview Transcript
by susan haas
Monday, July 23, 2007
Valentino Rossi held his post-race press conference outside of his motorhome last night after the USGP at Laguna Seca. This is a transcript of the session.
I'm happy because I am the first of the Michelin. [Laughing] No, is quite frustrating, because today, the difference was unbelievable. We have some problem with the rear, because we don't have the same amount of grip of yesterday with the same tire and the same condition. But anyway, also if we have the grip of yesterday, is not enough, because Bridgestone have half a second lap by lap. In the perfect condition, after we have some problem, the tire don't work very well this afternoon, and we take nine-tenths for lap. What I have to say, I think, that in these two races, we see that the condition is quite bad for our championship, because now the tires decide all the results. Last week, just six days ago was the opposite, where Bridgestone was in trouble and Michelin arrive in front. And in just seven days, is the opposite. So I think is very bad for all the factories, all the team, and I think also for the crowd, because like this is difficult, and also the race is like Bridgestone race, Michelin race. So have one moment where Bridgestone go faster and all the rider of Bridgestone go faster, or have one moment where Michelin go faster and all the Michelin go faster than Bridgestone. But you never have the battle at the same level.
Q So do you want the tire rule scrapped, the 31-tire rule?
A. I don't know. For sure, the rule what do from Bridgestone, because they say Michelin have an advantage to make the tire during the weekend. I agree. But for sure this rule is not good. We need more tires.
Q Just on the safety question, we've seen some bad incidents this weekend, crashes, qualifying. Only one fine has been given, one action was taken, a $2000 fine for John Hopkins. Do you agree with this?
A. First, this track is dangerous. So can happen if you race in Laguna. We make a lot of work. This year fantastic work with the asphalt. But have some point, like the Corkscrew where Guintoli and Hofmann have the crash, is very easy to make mistake. And I think the fee is more for Kurtis Roberts than for Hopkins. Because is not possible to put one rider that arrive 13th in Superstock to ride MotoGP. Is not good. I mean, is dangerous, because Melandri have a bad crash and is lucky to don't make a lot of pain, but Roberts was in the center of the line, roll off the throttle and look behind. So this is the more dangerous. Hopkins is just angry with Carlos, but is just bad for looking, but can happen.
Q Talking about the tires, do you think we should have a one-tire rule in MotoGP?
A. So. Now, I don't know. But I have to say that like this is very bad for the show, I think. Because all the fans like the riders and like the manufacturers. You have Ducati fans, Yamaha fans, Rossi, Stoner, Capirossi, everybody. But nobody is Michelin fan or Bridgestone fan. So the people that looking on television say, "Why now Rossi take 30 seconds and last time Stoner take 30 seconds? What's happened?"
Q Do you feel that Michelin gave you an advantage in years before, though?
A. For sure. But so we speak a lot about this, come se dice monogomma in English? One-tire rule. But it was one-tire rule until 2003, just Michelin for 15 years. And nobody have problems. For sure Michelin give an advantage in the last years. Until the half season of last year, where Bridgestone make a big step, and I have to say a big thank you to Michelin. Now the situation is opposite. The problem is for the show and for the people, and for the riders, and for the manufacturers that put a lot of money. At the end is the tire decides.
Q Vale, the situation now, do you think it's possible, everything being equal, that you can catch Stoner like you caught Hayden last year? If nothing bad happens to Stoner?
A. Nothing is impossible. We have seven races, a long way to go. But we have to wait what's happening this month in France for our tire. We have to go in front of [the factory in] Clermont-Ferrand to say "You have the new tires?" If not, is difficult. But we never give up. We are here for try to win.
Q Is it only the tires? What about Yamaha?
A. Yes. Yes, for sure. I'm agreed, because the bike is a little bit too slow this year, unfortunately, especially compared to Ducati. And this is a big disadvantage. But we have some, I hope, some new stuff in Brno, and I hope that work. Usually arrive something from Japan. And after, we see. For sure we have to work. I have to work. Yamaha have to work. But at the end, I think my setting today was not bad. But we take one second for lap.
Q Can you believe it, two years in a row, last year and now this year? You're so far behind, 44 points behind the championship leader.
A. Eh, can I believe, because is real. And yes, for me, you know. I try my maximum. I want to enjoy, I want to ride my bike like I want, I want to fight with the other guys, the same 11, or sometimes you have less speed, sometimes you have better handling. But with the tires, no way.
Q Valentino, are you prepared to take mechanical risks from Brno onwards, if they have new parts? You are far behind now, are you willing to take risks?
A. We - no. Risk, big risk, never. We try. I don't know exactly what arrive. I hope something arrive, because Brno is very important the engine. Maybe we try during the practice, and after we decide.
Q Like all the other manufacturers, Yamaha could go and get Bridgestone tires if they wanted. They could do this.
A. Now I don't want to say nothing very strange this early. I trust in Michelin. I don't know why, I don't have a reason because Bridgestone is a lot, a lot better than Michelin. More or less have equal. But we'll see. We'll see. But for sure, we have another seven races for try to come back and try to fight with the Bridgestone.
Q Will it be more difficult to try and catch Stoner than it was to catch Hayden last year?
A. So, last year the difference was that the situation was different. Unlucky braking, tires, engine. This year is more performance about Stoner, about Ducati, about Bridgestone. So I don't know. Now we go on holiday, and we'll see. We have seven races. Is a long way. We always try to win. After, we see.
"Itīs not easier to ride, but I donīt need something easier, I need something faster." - Nicky Hayden #69
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