Valentino Rossi: I Really Wanted Two Years Because I Want to Try the 2016 Bikes

Valentino Rossi, Sachsenring press conference 2014 1 photo
Valentino Rossi looked exceptionally relaxed and pleased with himself during the official press conference ahead of the German GP round at Sachsenring. His relaxed state was obviously the result of his recent contract renewal with Yamaha, and Rossi looked like really thinking ahead and trying to find the best ways to go higher in the championship, considering both his experience and the resources Yamaha is expected to provide for his team.
He was not at all shy to admit that a new two-season contract was what he hoped for mid-championship 2014. “I really wanted two years because I want to try the 2016 bikes,” Rossi added. The Italian believes that 2016 will bring a dramatic change in MotoGP, both because of the new tires and the new “unified ECU software. “It is going to be like an ‘era zero’,” he adds.

The 9-time world champion also says that he’s quite happy to have been able to adapt his riding style to the new M1 machine he got back at the end of 2013. After the first year back with Yamaha ended without the glorious results everyone expected, Rossi had commented that during his absence, Yamaha had tailored both machines to the riding style of Lorenzo and he was still searching for the best ways to understand the new machine.

However, with the decision to replace long-time crew chief Jeremy Burgess with Silvano Galbusera, it looks like Rossi started to “mold” himself to the new prototype. At the same time, he got solid factory support from Yamaha, and he was able to put his experience at work. Results were not delayed, as Rossi has had a great first half of the season.

At the beginning of the current championship he declared that the first 6 or so races would be the test which would tell him whether it was worth continuing. He now sits in the second place in the world standing, with 5 podiums in 8 races, four 2nd and one 3rd, and showing clear signs of an even better performance for the future.

Still, the 2016 season will be one of the most interesting things to happen in MotoGP in quite some time, with all the bikes on the grid being required to run the same software and a completely new type of tires. We still have one race until the end of the first half of the season, the German GP, a truly punishing round for the tires, with 10 left handers and only 3 right turns. Even more, most of the turns 4 through 10 are also long and will put extra stress on the left sector of the Bridgestone tires.

The next one, Turn 11, is the first right hander after this series and one of the really dangerous places on the German track. Last year we had quite a lot of crashing action there, and even though there are plans to alter its apex, they will only become reality next year.
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