Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) recently sat down with Radio Deejay to look back at 2017, on and off track, as well as lend a glance to the future – with that always a big talking point for both the rider from Tavullia and Yamaha. First on the agenda was the topic on everyone’s lips: the private test Yamaha undertook at Sepang, and what conclusions were drawn…
“The test went well, we tried the bike with the 2016 chassis and we decided that the prototype from this season was worse,” the Italian told the programme. “We have to wait and see how the new bike will be. It will be interesting and the starting point will be the 2016 bike. Now it’s a crucial moment and Yamaha must make a leap forward."
So, with a plan for the future laid out for the bike – a return to 2016 – Rossi talked about his own future, which is a hot topic as he gears up for 2018 and the final season of his current contract. “MotoGP without me? When it happens, some of my rivals will be happy,” laughed the rider from Tavullia. “And why do I have so much attention in the paddock? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a number of things – I’ve had a long career and won so much. And people fell in love! A lot of people who didn’t watch bikes started to follow it because of me.” Then asked if he’s afraid to stop racing, the ‘Doctor’ says that yes, he is – but that he can see another decade of competition on four wheels, interested in trying rallying and the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The next date for the ‘Doctor’ and his M1 is at the Sepang Test, the first official outing of the year at the end of January