Everywhere he goes, Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has a huge fan base. However, nowhere is as crazy as Misano, Italy where fans flock from around the world to watch the nine times world champion do what he does best at his home MotoGP.
Misano a special track for Rossi
Less than a week after he claimed the last spot on the podium at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the circuit nearest to his home town named after his late friend Marco Simoncelli who died following a racing incident on track.
He was present at the pre-race press conference where he discussed the atmosphere, what Misano means to him and what he hopes to achieve at the 13th round of the MotoGP.
The championship is not over yet
Rossi is currently second in the championship 50 points behind championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) who was the race winner last year in Misano. Consistent results, and finishing ahead of Marquez in the remaining rounds may leave him within contention of winning the championship, however Rossi’s focus at the moment seems to be enjoying the atmosphere amongst his home fans.
Misano attracts many outside riders
The track is sentimental to Rossi, he discussed how “for some reason” he finds that this is the “zone in Italy” where he thinks that a lot of riders are “born or growing up”, or a lot of other riders “move here for training or to live”. He thinks they are attracted by the “good facilities” that are available for training, but he thinks that it is a location where you can really get a “taste for motorcycling” and feel the “passion for two wheels” which is “very high”.
Special event for Rossi
Speaking about the 13th round of the season he declared that, “For sure this one is something special during the season” for not only him but “all the riders that come from this place”. Praising the event he said, “It is always a great weekend with a very good atmosphere” as he knows there are “a lot of fans and a lot of people” that attend the event which sells out most years, and so he “cannot wait to start”.
Comparing the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to Silverstone he mentioned that “there are a lot of differences” including the “layout of the race track” as he thinks Misano is “a lot different and very tight”. After several wet rounds previously in the season, when comparing the Italian weather to the British weather he said, “Finally it looks like we can have a good weekend”.
Rossi hoping for more time to make decent tyre choices
Wishing that the weather is better he is hoping to have “more time for work”, which will allow him to “make the right decision” after he has had the opportunity to “try all the different tyres”. The riders will have a new front Michelin tyre on offer and because of the “difference in the front” Rossi knows that it is “important to make the right decision for Sunday”.