by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 72
MotoGP: Valentino Rossi VALENTINO Rossi is already a giant of motorcycle racing. Until now he has passed every test. On occasion, he's been a good loser. More often than not, an even better winner. He spreads joy by his own triumph. In 2009 he faced a new trial. A team-mate, riding an identical motorcycle, who could most times match him move for move, and now and then even better him. The challenge was strong enough that there was a chance during 2009 that he might not win his seventh premier-class World Championship. One breakdown might have made the difference, and opened the door to Jorge. As it turned out, Rossi under unprecedented pressure is just as burst-proof as Rossi when he's on a roll. There were bad moments: none worse than the little mistake he made at Indianapolis: crashing under braking and handing the win to Lorenzo. But it was only a spur to greater things. Valentino came straight back and won resoundingly at Misano. And was back to his old self. Rossi did not find his new situation comfortable. Not because he was unprepared to have to race so hard: beating someone on the same bike was, he told GPWeek: "more satisfying, because you are at the same level". It was because company rules meant that he had to share every technical advantage. "I always try to make great work to develop the bike, and usually just for me. But now I also make the work for my worst enemy." The caused some friction: Lorenzo's camp claiming Rossi copied his settings; Rossi laughingly denying it. And it showed a new side to Valentino. Already known for an ability to make his rivals look (and feel) smaller; he proved he was willing to fight even more when it was his own team-mate. At year's end, he put Yamaha on the track still further, demanding that when contract-time comes mid-2010, they must choose between him and Lorenzo. Thus he paints an interesting possibility into the future of a career that must inevitably draw to a close in the next few years. It's coloured red, and wears a Ducati badge. Will Valentino take on this final challenge before he retires? It is Rossi's riding skill and race-craft (there is nobody so cunning) that win him races and records and championships. He is very fast, very technically aware, and very intelligent. The combination is devastating. But it is his sporting character as much as his contribution to the record book that makes him such a natural choice to win this poll -- it is something his racing peers can understand. Some people race with desperation. It means so much to them. Winning means the same to Rossi as well. But he is one of the lucky ones, who races with joy. MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor opinion 2009 -- Valentino Rossi, 2008 -- Valetino Rossi "Fantastic. I am so happy to hear that. It really means something, you know -- because it is from the other drivers. I think we understand each other's sports quite well. So that's fantastic." AWARDS >> 43