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GP Week : Issue 176
VALENTINO TO QUIT? NO, JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING ... “Valentino Rossi will retire from racing if he wins the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.” That was, more or less, the meat of a posting on an Italian website which had taken the information from the website of an Italian broadcaster – but it wasn’t true. That didn’t stop any number of websites from headlining the ‘revelation’ while the presenter responsible for the interview, which was promoting the Sunday afternoon broadcast, scrambled to Twitter to clear up the mess. Guido Meda, a respected Italian broadcaster for Mediaset and Rossi confidant, tweeted. “A misunderstanding of our Press Office has become a mess. @ValeYellow46 never said that if he will win 2013 then will retire. He said: ‘If I win with Yam would be great enough to think that this brand can be the last adventure of my career’. The wrong title was out 1 hour, enough.” What Rossi had said was “I do not know if the one with the Yamaha will be my last adventure in MotoGP, but I hope so because it would mean that it has gone well. I would not want to stop. I'll be a rider until I succeed, on a motorcycle or in a car. I like this life and the adrenaline that it gives you.” What wasn’t in dispute was what Rossi said about his tenure with Ducati. He lamented his results with the Italian company and that he hadn’t been able to materially improve the Desmosedici. The takeaway was that the past two difficult years had motivated him: “The height of optimism would be to win the World Championship, one of pessimism to not finish even once in front of (Jorge) Lorenzo,” he said. Most surprising was that Rossi spoke at all. Traditionally, riders switching teams are under a gag order as a condition of being released early from their contracts. at BRIEFLY » Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was another Moto2 graduate making his MotoGP debut in Valencia. Like Marc Marquez, Smith was forced to sit out Tuesday because of bad weather. Smith’s first laps on the YZR-M1 were on a wet track – he turned 16 laps-and he was able to get back out in the final two hours in the dry. After completing a total of 43 laps, Smith finished 11th overall, his lap time of 1:34.538 mins. more than two seconds slower than Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda). “Obviously the bike is completely different to anything I have ridden before, but it is an unbelievable machine,” Smith said. “The power is incredible and in the dry when I came on the straight for the first time, I just had a huge smile.” » Tady Okada, a former grand prix winner, 500cc championship runner-up, and current Honda test rider, will join the 2013 Moto2 World Championship as a team owner. Okada was motivated by the need to mentor young Japanese riders, who recently haven’t been as successful as he was. Okada is the most prolific Japanese rider in the premier class with four wins. With backing from Honda, the team will field one rider on a Moriwaki chassis in the Honda-powered class. Yuki Takahashi, a winner in the Moto2 and 250cc classes, tested the bike in Valencia, though the final decision on the rider won’t be made until the end of the month. “Through my all the experiences of racing with Honda, including the GP and WSBK ride, team manager of British Superbike, development of MotoGP machine, and racing advisor for young riders, my next target now is to give all my experiences to young riders who are dreaming to be a motorcycle world champion like I did, give them chances to have the same experience that I had, and challenge again to make my dream come true together with them,” Okada said. MOTOGP >>> NEWS 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: