Q: How difficult was that?
Valentino Rossi: Very much, yeah. Especially the beginning, I have to stay out of the battle, because in front they were making a strong battle. So I don't feel enough confidence to go into the battle. I have to wait. And I need a bit too much lap to take good rhythm and to ride in a good way. I have to say that when I see Dani in the gravel, is extra motivation, you know, because fourth or fifth, more or less is same, but fourth or third change a lot. And from that moment I try to make my best, and I put some good laps together, and I arrived with Dovi, and this time I win the battle, not like in Sachsenring.
Q: At one stage you were over two and a half seconds behind Dovizioso, and as we've seen in the past, it is difficult to close down the gap. There was a lot of laps left, but were you always confident that it would be quite easy to catch up with him?
VR: No. At the beginning I was already with Dovi, together, but he got away, because he was faster than me. In that moment, I don't have enough confidence with the front, especially, to go with him. When lap by lap I improve my feeling. When the fuel goes down, I have less pressure on the front, I am able to ride in a better way, and when I start to do 1'22 low, and I see I can catch him, which was extra motivation.
Q: Would you have been able to resist Ben Spies if he didn't make a mistake?
VR: I hope so. But I don't know what happened to Spies.
Q: Most of the riders crashed in the same corner as Dani. Is there any problem there with the corner?
VR: Yes. Hard, hard, hard bump. And I go one time I go very, very close to crash, same as Dani.
Q: You have three weeks until Brno. Do you think you will be 100% there?
VR: This two and a half weeks for me will be very important to recovery. I don't think in Brno I will be 100%, but better than this week.
Q: When you got to Andrea, and you were right behind him, where could you see that you had a slight advantage over him?
VR: For me, looks like he had better feeling with the front at the beginning, but less at the end, and for me it was the opposite. This was the difference.
Q: Was there any point where it became too difficult, or you thought, you can't push so hard?
VR: Yes. I suffer from Turn 4 to Turn 5 to change direction, and braking to the Turn 5 always I have shaking because not pushing enough. And also to go down the Corkscrew I have some pain. So in that change of direction, I was not strong enough.
Q: Was there any time you thought the podium wasn't possible, because it was too much effort?
VR: Yes. Before Dani crashed, I thought it's impossible for sure. But afterwards, yes. It came better.
Q: Shoulder injuries make it very difficult to sleep. Is it hard for you to sleep, with the shoulder?
VR: No, now. Now I am able to sleep. But I did not sleep for three weeks. So I have always to stay on the other side, yeah.
Q: It was only 50 days ago that you were lying in hospital with your broken leg. Could you have imagined then that only seven weeks later, that you would be in Laguna Seca on the podium, a fantastic result?
VR: One week after the crash, you don't think of anything. You don't think of the race, of the bike. You just have pain. You don't sleep. You say f*** every time, and just this. From that moment, when the condition starts to improve, it's like you start for a trip, you know? You know that if you have to arrive at one point, you can't lose a lot of time in the Autogrill for filling up with fuel or eat. So you have to push for arrive at a good time. But I don't expect ... so I remember when two weeks after the crash, I say, "F***. Also Laguna, is always a good atmosphere over there, go to US, it's enjoyment and a great track." So to be here on the podium, I didn't expect.
Q: You've had seasons like Jorge Lorenzo is having now - first and second in every race. So you know this feeling. What can you say about Lorenzo at this moment?
VR: He did a great job. So great congratulations to him. Because he is doing a very well. He's in front every practice, and in every condition. So he's in great, great shape. I think he deserves this championship also, also without my injury, my crash. But I have to say that for sure if I am on the track, I can give him a little bit more pressure and more problems, last year that worked quite well. But you cannot say nothing to a rider whose worst result is second.
Q: And he makes no mistakes, so far.
VR: And he makes no mistakes. So another congratulations. [Laughs]