During the rider debrief on Thursday we found Valentino Rossi looking in good form and ready for the race weekend at Laguna Seca. Noticeably better on his feet, the conversation actually turned from the Italian’s injury, and approached normalcy by centering once again on Rossi’s future.
However this time the speculation wasn’t about whether he’d ride for Ducati, but instead what Rossi would like to do after he finishes his MotoGP career. His answer? World Superbike. Read it for yourself in the Q&A after the jump.
Q: You were very fast on the Superbike. There were rumors a few years ago that you wanted to race against Troy Bayliss…
Valentino Rossi: Yes! I want to make a race in Superbikes. After the story with Bayliss appeared I was happy. But for me is interesting, maybe in the future I will do this.
Q: To ride with Biaggi or the guys in Superbike?
VR: I want to make a race in Superbikes, for me it’s not important if is with Biaggi, Bayliss, or somebody else.
Q: When you rode the R1, certainly in Brno, your lap times were immediately very fast even though you were not at 100% and you had no experience of Pirelli tires, what do you think your performance showed about the difference between the level of riders in World Superbikes and the level of riders in MotoGP?
VR: For me, our level is clearly higher than Superbikes. No doubt. I don’t know the people that continue to say that we have a fight with the two. So, the best riders race in MotoGP, and the Superbike motorcycles are easier to ride, Pirelli are more easy than Bridgestone. But at the same time, I have the sense that it’s fun, the bike is big, is fat, slide, move everywhere. The races are fun, have a lot of very good riders over there, so is for that that I enjoy a lot Superbike. But I don’t want to make a ranking, because MotoGP, the level is higher, this is clear.
Q: Speaking to Ben Spies, he says doing one Grand Prix is more difficult than doing two Superbike races in one day.
VR: Yes. When I ride the Superbike and Pirelli, it’s like I return around 2003, 2004 for us: Big bike, sliding tires, you can make some mistake but recover. So especially the rhythm of the race, so you can win also if you don’t make a perfect start or if you make some mistake. With MotoGP, from start to the end, is just one breath, you know. I think this is the bigger difference.
Q: When we switched to MotoGP, you said that 500 was a lot more difficult to ride. Do you think the same now?
Now for me, the bigger difficulty is the Bridgestone tires. You have to ride always thinking about the tires, and you have to make always the right procedure to put the tire in temperature. In fact, this year, a lot of big crashes is for that reason. 500 was more difficult the bike. Because it was more aggressive and no traction control, so, about bike the 500 remain more difficult.
Photo: © 2010 Scott Jones Photography