Rossi: Stoner ‘one of the wildest’ riders ever in MotoGP
Thursday 9th December, 2021 - 8:47am
Valentino Rossi has described Casey Stoner as “one of the fastest and wildest” MotoGP riders ever.
Rossi’s long career as a rider himself came to an end with last month’s Valencia Grand Prix, after 26 seasons of grand prix racing.
The 42-year-old naturally had several major rivals during his career, but holds a particularly high opinion of Stoner.
“I raced together with Casey during all his career in MotoGP, because it was not very long because he arrived in 2006 and stopped in 2012,” said Rossi.
“It’s not a long time, but he demonstrated his incredible natural talent and already from the first year with the Honda he was very, very fast always.
“So, I’m very happy to fight with him because he was one of the fastest and wildest MotoGP riders of history.”
Aside from Stoner, Rossi also had big rivalries with former Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Sete Gibernau, and Max Biaggi.
He nominated the latter as his favourite given both are Italians, but spoke positively of all of them.
“The rivalry in all the sport at the top level, maybe especially in MotoGP, is something that you don’t like a lot,” remarked the seven-time premier class champion.
“But it’s fantastic for giving the maximum and for overtaking your limits and finding something inside that you don’t know that you had.
“I had great, great rivalries in my career, and I enjoyed it a lot, especially the first part because I won more.
“The second part I lost more, but anyway I enjoyed it. I want to say [my favourite was] with Biaggi, because it was two Italians. Also, in Italy it was a great movement around it.
“But also with Stoner, Lorenzo, at the end with Marquez, and with all the guys in the last years I always enjoyed.
“It’s something that, after, you remember it in a positive way, as something special.”
Rossi will continue racing next year in sportscars/GTs, but will have an ongoing presence in motorcycling through VR46 Racing Team in both MotoGP and Moto2, and also the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team in the latter.