Moto/gp/ Rossi

Rossi prepares for Yamaha farewell
Post categories: MotoGP

Jennie Gow | 15:32 UK time, Friday, 5 November 2010

Valencia
It is the last Friday of the MotoGP season and it is a little like the end of term in the paddock. Everyone has that carefree approach to the weekend.

Even world champion Jorge Lorenzo seemed to lack drive and enthusiasm at the pre-event news conference, insisting it was “not an obsession to try to get the win” here, although Nicky Hayden was as relaxed and jovial as always. The American joked with the media as he looked forward to joining forces again with Valentino Rossi.

While the season may be winding down, I seem to be busier than ever. We got to Valencia on Wednesday night so that we were ready and prepared for an interview with Rossi, the nine-time world champion, on Thursday.

I have met world champions before and I have interviewed some of the most powerful and successful sportsmen and women in the world but this was my first proper sit-down chat with a man that I have respected and followed for years.

Interviewing a MotoGP legend

I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous before Rossi came to his garage and the crew set up lights, cameras and sound equipment. Butterflies fluttered around my tummy but they quickly disappeared as the great man, wearing jean shorts and his Yamaha T-shirt, walked in with his trademark grin spread all over his face.

We sat and chatted about his accident at Mugello and his years at Yamaha as the crew made final preparations for our interview. Rossi’s shorts showed off his injured leg and we sat and compared scars. I have a very similar one on my right knee so we talked about surgery and arthroscopies.

Then he pointed out the large, semi-circular scar on his shin – the point where his bone tore through his leg as he smashed into the track at Mugello.

As the cameras started rolling, we continued to chat about Yamaha and how the Doctor would feel leaving behind his most famous patient – his beloved M1. It was rather ironic that we were filming in front of her as darkness fell upon the paddock. So many times Vale has crept into his garage at night, alone, and spent time with his bike. Now, on the eve of his final GP for Yamaha, he was sat with me talking about his love affair with her.

There were no tears but it is clear that the seven years Rossi has spent with Yamaha have been filled with success and happiness. He will miss his mechanics, his bike and the people he will no longer work or deal with.

I won’t give too much away but you will be able to see the interview during qualifying on the Red Button, Sunday’s show on BBC2 and HD as well as the BBC Sport website.

Chances are I shall meet with Rossi again on Sunday night when I present the FIM MotoGP Awards. He defends a 12-point lead over Casey Stoner for third place in the Championship and, while it is not another title to add to his portfolio, it is not a bad result when you consider he missed a chunk of the season because of injury.

Rossi prepares for Yamaha farewell
Post categories: MotoGP

Jennie Gow | 15:32 UK time, Friday, 5 November 2010

Valencia
It is the last Friday of the MotoGP season and it is a little like the end of term in the paddock. Everyone has that carefree approach to the weekend.

Even world champion Jorge Lorenzo seemed to lack drive and enthusiasm at the pre-event news conference, insisting it was “not an obsession to try to get the win” here, although Nicky Hayden was as relaxed and jovial as always. The American joked with the media as he looked forward to joining forces again with Valentino Rossi.

While the season may be winding down, I seem to be busier than ever. We got to Valencia on Wednesday night so that we were ready and prepared for an interview with Rossi, the nine-time world champion, on Thursday.

I have met world champions before and I have interviewed some of the most powerful and successful sportsmen and women in the world but this was my first proper sit-down chat with a man that I have respected and followed for years.

Interviewing a MotoGP legend

I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous before Rossi came to his garage and the crew set up lights, cameras and sound equipment. Butterflies fluttered around my tummy but they quickly disappeared as the great man, wearing jean shorts and his Yamaha T-shirt, walked in with his trademark grin spread all over his face.

We sat and chatted about his accident at Mugello and his years at Yamaha as the crew made final preparations for our interview. Rossi’s shorts showed off his injured leg and we sat and compared scars. I have a very similar one on my right knee so we talked about surgery and arthroscopies.

Then he pointed out the large, semi-circular scar on his shin – the point where his bone tore through his leg as he smashed into the track at Mugello.

As the cameras started rolling, we continued to chat about Yamaha and how the Doctor would feel leaving behind his most famous patient – his beloved M1. It was rather ironic that we were filming in front of her as darkness fell upon the paddock. So many times Vale has crept into his garage at night, alone, and spent time with his bike. Now, on the eve of his final GP for Yamaha, he was sat with me talking about his love affair with her.

There were no tears but it is clear that the seven years Rossi has spent with Yamaha have been filled with success and happiness. He will miss his mechanics, his bike and the people he will no longer work or deal with.

I won’t give too much away but you will be able to see the interview during qualifying on the Red Button, Sunday’s show on BBC2 and HD as well as the BBC Sport website.

Chances are I shall meet with Rossi again on Sunday night when I present the FIM MotoGP Awards. He defends a 12-point lead over Casey Stoner for third place in the Championship and, while it is not another title to add to his portfolio, it is not a bad result when you consider he missed a chunk of the season because of injury.