Switching from racing on two wheels to four is not easy, even for champions.
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Curated by Vicki Smith for Ducati.net
As the MotoGP season prepares to heat up - not just literally - with four races in the span of a month, we spoke with 15 time world champion Giacomo Agostini during the inauguration of the Yamaha Poggi collection in Bologna. This first topic of discussion was Casey Stoner's retirement announcement.
"I think that, quite simply, he is no longer in love with racing - Agostini commented - It happens to a lot of couples when they separate, and there's nothing strange about it. Now he prefers a life in the country with his family. Just one thing is strange: he's still very young, with a lot to offer to the sport and a lot of money left to earn. But it's his decision, and it must be respected."
Rossi, Lorenzo, and Pedrosa all have contracts expiring at the end of the season, which should make things interesting.
"Casey's departure really opens up the market. Now the most important piece is Lorenzo. I hope he stays at Yamaha; it's a team he knows well, and now it's becoming like a family for him. And it seems like the atmosphere is a little more human and friendly than at Honda. I felt very good at Yamaha, and even now it seems like they treat their riders very well."
And what about Rossi?
(translated from Italian)
Giacomo Agostini won last week, another record, that of being the first rider to enter the Hall of Fame of the British magazine Motor Sport . To make the scene of the ceremony was the famous Roundhouse in London, for an evening hosted on its stage the legends of engines rather than the rock. " I gladly accepted this award in Britain - said the 15-time world champion - also because I managed to bring the two wheels in the middle of many samples of the four . "
Although he has hung for many years his helmet, still has many fans.
" It 's one thing I always love to say that you still remember me and with my career, I left them a beautiful memory . The counterpart is that I travel very often and this takes away a bit 'of time to their personal lives, but the affection that I show so many people makes me proud . "
Supporters argued Rossi in a disastrous year, what it means for one pilot to pass such a moment of Valentino?
" Going to Ducati was his choice and has proved very hard this past season, which was negative in all respects. I can well understand what could have been his morale , how he felt at finding himself fighting for a sixth or fifth place. When you're used to being the first, it annoys you to get second or even third, let alone when you're more behind. "
In tests at Sepang, however, were made some steps forward and Rossi said he was pleased with the results.
" Valentino is improving and I hope he does even more, but I'm sure that someone like him, used to winning, can not be happy with a 5th place . The important thing is that now they appear on the right track, in my opinion is more hopeful than happy . "
In the season debut of the CRT, that idea has made this category?
" The CRT is a piece , seem to see race together two groups that have nothing in common, if they wanted to track the motion that take 5 seconds per lap from then being able to run the MotoGP Moto2 . Do not mean a thing to put together a bike with so much performance difference, the gaps are enormous hope that soon you will run for cover . "
CRTs are the daughters of the economic crisis, according to her there are other solutions?
" I do not want to lecture the professor to do but it's time to sit down and think to find a solution , relying on those with experience in this field. The big problem is the leasing of motorcycles at prices higher than 3 million euros , at a time like this that money is not there . "
How do you judge the other hand the transition from 800 to 1000?
" This is a choice that I really do not know if it was done to save has had the opposite effect , with houses that have had to completely redesign and motorcycle engines. I can not understand what you both wanted to achieve: the fastest bike on the straights? The show does not depend on speed, what changes have bikes that range to 340 km / h instead of 320? The show is made in the corner, when there brawl, fight. The 250 2-stroke performance had not yet giving away beautiful races . "
A final question is to Italy on two wheels, it's hard to have a generational change in the World Championship, what is this?
" In recent years we have neglected the school, we did not raise our young people. Instead in Spain have done the opposite, with leagues for all ages and the results are there for all to see. Now the Italian Federation has realized the mistake, but it will take time to train new recruits . In the future I hope to grow an array of good riders who can aim high . "