After Sunday's MotoGP race at Indianapolis, in which he finished 4th, Valentino Rossi spoke to reporters for his usual post-race press debrief. During the conversation, Rossi talked about how his biggest problem is a lack of fitness, as he is still unable to run on his broken leg. He also told the press he still wasn't sure about what his legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess was going to be doing next year. And he went on to attack the role electronics plays in the sport, speaking of his hope that measures would be taken to reduce the importance of electronics when MotoGP returns to 1000cc in 2012. Here's what Rossi told reporters:
Question: How was the day? It was hot out there.
Valentino Rossi: Yes, is very difficult. I expected to be in trouble, because also during the practice after 8 or 9 laps, I started to lose strength. And in fact is very, very difficult. So for me, it was a positive race because for one part of the race, I could make the same lap time as Lorenzo and Spies, and I made also a little bit faster time than Lorenzo and same as Ben.
So it is a good weekend, because we work well on the bike, we come back to our style of bike, about balance, but also about electronics. We started to follow our way again, and for this I'm so happy, because especially in Brno, but also in Laguna Seca I never was as fast as the other Yamaha guys.
But now I need more strength, I need more preparation because I don't have the fitness for 28 laps. I suffer a lot in the heat, I don't expect to be like this in trouble, but is quite normal because I cannot work a lot on the breath [aerobic fitness], you know? So, I need time. I need to stay quiet, I need time to come back at the maximum, because when I was around 1.2 - 1.4 seconds behind Jorge, I was not so far, I have one moment where I push a lot, but from that moment, my strength is finished, become very difficult to change direction, so I had to give up.
Q: Are the conditions as bad as Malaysia today?
VR: I think so. But usually in Malaysia I don't have problems, so is not like this, but is my condition. But we are close to Malaysia I think today.
Q: What can you do to improve your condition? Is it just time now?
VR: Yes, unfortunately, I cannot run, still. I think I need another month before I can run, so I need to start with the bicycle I think. [Sarcastically - Rossi hates the exercise bicycle] I'm very happy, very happy yeah. But, yeah, you know my physical condition improve a lot, because I don't have pain now compared to before, so this is a big step. But I don't have power, so... In the last 8, 9 lap, when I see on the board lap 8, I say, f*** … I hope lap 1!
Q: Misano can be very hot as well. Do you think if it's as hot at Misano, you're going to struggle? Or is the home town track advantage maybe going to overcome the difficulties?
VR: For me Misano is worse about my physical condition compared to here, but is better about bike, because at this track Yamaha is struggling a bit. In Misano, the last two years, we were very fast. Unfortunately I don't have time to improve my physical condition, so I just have to hope that we have some shadow. And we will see. In Misano also, there is another atmosphere, like a lot of track. And I'm very happy because we work on the bike in our way, and at the end, also thinking that I crashed three times in the practice so it mean that for sure it is not very good for the feeling in the race, you know?
Q: Don't you think it was maybe a little bit early to turn the bike back to where it was before, and not leave it just for this one race to save your physical condition?
VR: No, no, it's too late, not too early. We should have tried this from the beginning. But anyway you know when you're not at 100%, you have to try and fix the problem in some way. We work well, also Jeremy work very well with the bike this weekend, and yes, the problem is me, I'm not at the maximum.
Q: Valentino, apart from the physical problems that you've obviously got, the three crashes this weekend, we're not used to seeing that from you at all, but how much did that affect you in the race?
VR: So, except the crash in the qualifying - that was another mistake - is because I was tired. So, I arrive after seven, eight lap, and in that moment, I started to lose power. Usually it never happen, I always push to the end, but from that crash, I understand in the race that I have to give up. So when I arrive at the same condition, I tried to ride smooth, but when you ride like this, you go more slow. But this is the problem, is my problem, is my mistake.
Q: About three years ago when we spoke at the Le Mans test you said that Jerry would stay with you until you retire, it's true?
VR: Yeah, but now the question mark is if he retires before me! So I speak with Jerry, and I give him time, but basically, because he doesn't know if he will continue.
Q: Is it true that Yamaha asked Jeremy to finalize the situation?
VR: I don't know very well, but I don't think that Jerry continue with another rider. Or stay another rider, or stay with me.
Q: The top 10 in Brno was split by 40 seconds, and today the top 10 was covered by 51 seconds …
VR: 51! F***!
Q: Not so much entertainment for the crowds, what's your feeling about this?
VR: So I think this is a big problem for MotoGP, because the races are very boring. We lose our best card, especially compared to Formula 1. Because until 2006, with Michelin and Bridgestone but with 1000 engine, less electronics, f***, the races was unbelievable. A lot of people stay glued to the television, because you know that for sure MotoGP will be a great excitement. When Bridgestone arrived, 800 arrived, and this amount of electronics arrived, make this race very very boring, so is like sleeping like with Formula 1.
So I hope that they have in mind this. Not for next year, because for next year is the same, but for 2012, when they have to make new rules for the 1000, take out some electronics, take out some anti-wheelie, take out some anti-spin. The people want to see the bikes make wheelies, make slide. This is like the remote control, you know? So, the rider cannot make any more difference.
In the last lap, if you have 1.5 or 2 seconds, you remain with 1.5 or 2 seconds, maybe you gain 0.5, before you gain 0.5 in two laps, when you are in a good shape with a good setting. Now is like everybody the same, because all the acceleration, all the anti-wheelie is controlled from the bike. So I hope that to fix this problem that the 1000 bike, so is not enough just 1000. The problem is the electronics, so I hope they try to make less electronics with the 1000cc bikes.