Reigning titlist singles out four challengers for 2009 MotoGP World Championship.
If he had any doubts beforehand, the Polini Grand Prix of Japan left Valentino Rossi certain that Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo has the potential to challenge for the MotoGP title in 2009. The Italian had a thrilling fight with his Spanish rival at Twin Ring Motegi, before having to make do with second place as Lorenzo’s pace proved just too strong.
“I think that this championship will be very interesting, because we have four riders capable of trying to win the title,” said Rossi after the race, referring to himself, Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. “Next week in Jerez is our return to Europe, and I hope for great weather and a good show.
“I’m happy, because it was a great race,” added the reigning World Champion, one of the biggest critics of the runaway wins seen frequently in 2008. “We had four riders fighting for the victory, a lot of overtaking, and I think that everyone enjoyed the race –especially me!”
Rossi appeared to have a problem that prevented him from catching back up with Lorenzo, and admitted later that he had experienced difficulties on which Pedrosa attempted to capitalize.
“I didn’t feel confident with the bike at one point. It didn’t ride very well and I lost time with Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Fortunately in the last part of the race I could improve my pace and lines to take second.”