Valentino Rossi Believes He's in the Best Shape of His Career

Rossi battling with Marquez 6 photos
Valentino RossiValentino Rossi at Misano, 2014Valentino RossiValentino Rossi chased by Marc MarquezValentino Rossi
Winter is a very good time for introspections especially for the MotoGP riders, who are in a well-deserved vacation after 18 rounds of exhausting high-speed racing. While mechanics and engineers are tinkering around the next-season machines, pilots take their time to review the year and prepare for the new battles. Valentino Rossi is a 9-time World Champion but when it comes to thinking about what the new season may bring, he makes no exception.
The Doctor has been talking to autosport and we’re happy to see him in such an optimistic state. In fact, this looks like a promise for an even more exciting season next year. Rossi knows he has realistic chances of beating Marc Marquez, and it looks like he also has the means and the mind frame for the job. But will his experience beat Marquez’ juvenile determination? Time will tell.

The best form of his MotoGP career

It may sound a bit weird, but Rossi feels like he is better than he has ever been before. “I am older but I feel at 100%,” 35-year-old Rossi says. He also acknowledges that 2014 has been the best year of his career so far, most likely because it followed two fruitless years spent with Ducati and another one with modest results as he returned to Yamaha.

However, Rossi seems to have understood perfectly what needs improvement in his life as a rider and has also found the right ways to implement these changes. In return he finished 2014 in the runner-up position, after managing to escape the attacks of his team mate Jorge Lorenzo who was growing every strong in the second part of the season, highly motivated to reduce the gap to the front riders.

“The way to ride the bike has changed a lot in 10 years”

Rossi has seen the premier class evolving from the 500cc two-strokes to the current liter 4-stroke prototypes and had to adapt to these changes. Late in 2013 he declared that he had to put himself to the test to see whether it is worth riding past 2014. He said that the first 6 races of 2014 will tell him what to do next.

One victory and three second places have showed him that the decision to replace long-time friend and partner Jeremy Burgess with Silvano Galbusera as a crew chief was a good move. We remind you that in the start of the practice sessions ahead of the Valencia 2013 race, Rossi announced that he and Burgess would no longer be in the same team.

Everything has changed

The Italian rider adds that everything has changed”. By this he means, the bikes and the technology which powers them, his opponents, who are younger and stronger than in the past, plus the methods of working out how to make the rider and the bike a better combination.

"It was a brave decision, but I was quite sure, especially because now the way to work in MotoGP is different compared to the past. Now all the team and all the engineers speak with the rider, but afterwards spend a lot of time on the computer analyzing all the data, and afterwards modify the settings from the feeling of the rider but also what the telemetry says. For me, this is the big difference,” adds Rossi.

Yamaha’s hopes lie with Rossi’s obvious top form and with expectations that the 2015 tires will be more compliant with the Iwata machines and the riders. Rossi’s team mate Jorge Lorenzo had a terrible season start in 2014 with the tires playing a big role in his poor performance.

MotoGP action returns in spring with the kick-off race scheduled for 29 March at the Losail Circuit in Qatar.
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