Rossi has fondness for all his “special” MotoGP rivalries

Retired MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has labelled the many rivalries he had during his career as “something special” and expressed fondness for all his on-track foes.

Nine-time grand prix motorcycle racing world champion Rossi called time on his illustrious career at the end of last month’s Valencia Grand Prix finale, the conclusion to his 26th season.

Rossi’s career was defined by the numerous intense rivalries he had with the likes of Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.

When asked by Motorsport.com what his favourite rivalry was, Rossi said: “The rivalry in all the sport at the top level, maybe especially in MotoGP, is something that you don’t like a lot.

“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] 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.”

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team leads from Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team leads from Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Martin Heath / Motorsport Images

During the Algarve GP weekend, 2007 world champion Stoner stated his appreciation for what he learned racing against Rossi and the “amazing battles” they had.

Commenting on his time racing Stoner, Rossi said the Australian was “one of the wildest” riders ever in MotoGP.

“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,” he noted.

“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.”

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