Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 29 May 2015
MotoGP title contenders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have said their relationship has much improved since they last fought each other for the title in 2009/10.
Lorenzo joined Rossi in the then Fiat Yamaha team in 2008, with the duo becoming fierce competitors for the title in 2009. Still a frequent crasher, Lorenzo couldn’t quite match his teammate’s consistency across the season but nevertheless, the pairing had some titanic battles throughout, including the well-known scrap at the end of the 2009 Catalan Grand Prix where Rossi beat Lorenzo with a move in the final few corners.
The duo’s battle intensified in 2010, until Rossi fell in practice at Mugello, and broke his leg. The fight soon resumed once Rossi was fit enough, with another historic last-lap battle at Motegi, where the Italian just pipped Lorenzo to third place.
“We were teammates from 2008 but I think our first battle was in 2009 when we were close over the championship”, said Rossi. “We did very good fight in some races and that continued in 2010 but unfortunately I had the injury and after that I went to Ducati so our story stopped but now we are back.
“It’s always difficult because already when you fight for just one victory it is difficult and for the championship it is also more but the atmosphere in our pit is very good. We have a good relationship; good respect both outside and on the track but like everybody knows, your teammate is your first rival as they are on the same bike. They are your first enemy, the first guy to try to beat. It will be interesting and this year it’s not just me and Jorge.”
Lorenzo, who wasn’t too fond of his nine-times World Champion teammate in the early days, added: “2009 was the year of the fight. Maybe I was a little bit less experienced than Vale to be consistent enough. I made so many mistakes, I had the speed, he had the speed but I made more mistakes than him. In 2010 he was injured so it wasn’t really a fight.
“Our relationship is better now because I think the positions in the team are more accepted and equal and I think we are doing a great job. We are both winning so it is great for us!”
Lorenzo currently trails Rossi in the 2015 championship standings by 15 points as the sixth round of the 2015 season gets underway in Mugello. The Spaniard has won the last two races.