Valentino Rossi expressed his desire to receive from Honda the two-stroke bike with which he triumphed in 2001. But no opening from Honda.
Dorna surprised Valentino Rossi by setting up a stand in Valencia with his nine world championship bikes, from the 125 to the MotoGP, passing through the 500. The champion from Tavullia was the last champion of the old 500 class riding the Honda NSR500, that of the team satellite branded Nastro Azzurro, with which in 2001 he obtained 11 victories and 2 podiums in 16 races. Already after that world triumph, relations between HRC and Valentino Rossi began to be a bit tense, due to having won with a satellite team. Furthermore, he was never enthusiastic about the technical evolution of the new RC211V, not discarding the hypothesis of racing the 2002 season again with the old two-stroke NSR500.
The 2001 Honda world champion
The historic “yellow” bike will have immediately triggered some memories in Valentino Rossi who asked Alberto Puig to have it. “I asked him at least for that 500, because that bike is my 500, it’s the bike that Honda should have given me. I’m ready to take her, in fact I would already have a place for her at home, but then for some reason the bike never came. I would be happy if Honda changes its mind and gives it to me. I would keep it at a good temperature and in a nice place in my house (ride)”.
But from the Honda home comes a sharp but elegant no to the request of his former champion. “Valentino Rossi didn’t ask for three bikes, but the yellow two-stroke 500. I think he likes this bike a lot ”, underlined team manager Alberto Puig. Does HRC intend to give it to him? “Ninth. I think he has a good memory of this bike, he likes the color, then he won the last 500 World Championship“. With the usual way of communicating in a cold and concise way, the Catalan manager comments on Marc Marquez’s conditions. “The situation is as stated in the press release. It will be necessary to evaluate this week, the blow was strong, he must rest for a while and we hope that the situation will evolve positively.“.
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