Valentino Rossi says his relationship with Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo hasn’t imploded – like it did before his 2011 move to Ducati – because the two of them have both “grown up”.
Speaking candidly in an interview with former MotoGP star Colin Edwards for UK TV broadcaster BT Sport, Rossi explained his split with Yamaha and 2011 move to Ducati was "a great mistake" after he fell out with Lorenzo the first time around.
"[Jorge] had great potential, so I don't want a teammate can beat me after one year, no?" said Rossi. "I hoped from Yamaha a little bit more... not respect, but, you know…
"For this reason I did a great mistake, that was to go to Ducati. A great mistake because now I understand Yamaha – it's normal, it is like this. This is a great factory team, to have two factory riders, they need to have two top guys.
"For this reason, when I come back in 2013 like this [makes gesture like a dog with its tail between its legs] – like a dog, eh? [Edwards laughs] And I try to have respect for everybody, also about Jorge who was the number one.
"But also Jorge had been growing up and now I think he is better, he's more friendly, he's more open. The relationship is OK.
"You know what I understand in my career and becoming old? I try to divide the rider, wearing leathers and helmet, with the guy. It's different, you know. On the track, sometimes it's wild, but out of the track, it's better to divide and be relaxed.
"I think I improve a lot, but also Jorge improved too. We have a long relationship, like an old couple! Since 2008."
Extending his points lead
Rossi's fourth victory of the year at Silverstone, aided by Lorenzo's relatively lowly fourth-place finish, has extended his lead to 12 points after they came into the event tied.
"When I was fighting with Marc [Marquez over the lead of the race], I knew Lorenzo was in P6," said Rossi. "I was trying hard, because a win is better than second! After Marc crashed, I thought the race was done, but if [second-placed Danilo] Petrucci recovered four seconds on me in the last five laps, for sure I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight!
"It's very good for us that Marc lost points. I hoped that Jorge lost more positions, but at the end he finished fourth, so it's 12 points.
"But maybe in a dry race, Jorge would've beaten me – so I think these points are like gold."