After the press conference at Estoril, Valentino Rossi talked to the press about his all too brief battle with Jorge Lorenzo, and why he had not been able to fight with his Fiat Yamaha teammate and bitter rival as he had in the past couple of races. The difference, Rossi explained, was the lack of dry practice time, as Jorge Lorenzo could use the setting which he used to win the race last year, while Rossi had struggled at the Estoril circuit in 2009. Lorenzo had earlier confirmed that they had done little to the bike except plug in the setting from last year, and the Spaniard had been able to walk away from the front.
Here's what Rossi had to say about the race, talking to the press at Estoril:
Valentino Rossi: The bigger difference, I think that, like Jorge said, they put the setting last year that was very good and the work is finished, you know. We race with a big difference in the setting compared to last year, because last year we had a bad result, but we worked very well in the wet.
I think I was the favorite for the victory if we have a wet race, because this morning I was the fastest on the track. But you know, dry, we have just to trust in our work on the wet, make the changes that we usually make for the dry, and start. And I am okay, I have a good pace, a good feeling with the bike from the beginning, in fact I take some advantage. But unfortunately the bike started to move a bit too much. I think this weekend we made a good step in the setting. But it is still not enough.
I am curious to understand if we are ready to make another step in Valencia, that is usually a quite bad track for me, but next week will be an important week for me, for my future. First the race, I can fight for the second place [in the championship]. I am third, that is a good result, if you think that I missed four races and I make a lot of races as injured. And from Tuesday, start the new adventure and try the new bike. I have to be fit this week.
Q: What do you think was the difference between your bike and Jorge's? Where did you see that he had the advantage when he was up front?
VR: Yes, he had more grip and acceleration
Q: The gap to Jorge was 8 seconds. Is that a surprise?
VR: 8 seconds is not the real gap. When Jorge overtake me, he arrived very fast. I tried to stay with him, for two or three laps, I make my best lap, I didn't give up a lot, but after, when I see that is impossible to stay with him. Also because I finish the strength in my shoulder, the shoulder give me a lot of problem in the last part of the race. In fact also if I have to battle with him I think it is difficult, because I don't have enough strength in the shoulder. So I give up and I try to not risk, it is not real, exactly.
Q: You are quite good friends with Simoncelli, and he has had a couple of good races, and was very close to a podium today. Do you think that when he's on a full factory Honda next year that he will be a threat?
VR: Yes! He has a very clever approach, because he started quietly, also very slow, too slow, but now looks like he made the step. He made the step - not to our level, he is still not at our level, but looks like he is coming stronger. He now make a good result four or five races in a row that make good result, he is riding better. We have to be worried next year, because in the battle one-to-one he is ****ing aggresive! And also ****ing big!!