Graziano Rossi: “Valentino will keep on racing after 2021”

A new interview with Graziano Rossi. His long-lasting experience with the Daba Drift Team, his passion for Rally, The troubles in Yamaha and Valentino Rossi’s future.

At the age of 64, Graziano Rossi is still an overflow. After a life spent as a biker and Rally racer, Valentino’s dad is still having fun with Davide Bannò’s Daba Drift Team, an experience that is taking him all around Italy, dealing with the difficult art of drifting. He is a true history book, and a legend too, so we decided to consult him on the past, present, and future…


Can you tell us something about your experience with the Daba Drift Team? How is this motorbike cooperation going?

It is going very well, because they are very well organized and Davide Bannò owns amazingly beautiful cars. These drifting events are really funny! There are many people to see and we always travel to beautiful places.

Are you still riding too?

Not on the track, sometimes I ride on flat-track, some other times I prefer off-road, but not very often because there is always the risk to suffer a serious injury after a bad fall. I’m actually trying to ride as little as possible.

Did you pass down to Valentino your passion for Rally?

Of course, when I was trying Rally cars he always looked interested and ready to learn. He also used to drive very fast even before getting his driving license, when he was just 15/16, so he has always been good at Rally.

Valentino decided to renew his contract in MotoGP until 2020. How many chances does he have to win the World Championship? And what is he missing to win?

I think he has the chance to fight for it this year, and I think he will have the same chance next year and the year after that. He can count on his passion and his strong will to train and remain fit. I think he can still try to win for a couple more years, then if he wins or not also depends on luck. He has been really competitive this year, the problem is that Yamaha is not at the same level as the other 3 companies, so Valentino needs some extra luck and he needs to get to the good side.

Why is that Yamaha’s engineers are behind all the others in terms of electronics?

Because Yamaha’s engineers are trying to stick to the rules more than others and are a little less quick. For example, when Ducati and Honda went to Magneti Marelli to take their technical staff away, that was a forbidden move and Yamaha didn’t think about it because they are more honest.

Were you expecting Jorge Lorenzo to go to Honda? And what are your predictions for the 2019 MotoGP World Championship?

No, that was definitely a surprise. I’m expecting a World Championship where we are dealing with an always-fit Pedrosa, because Dani’s problem is that he goes really well in a couple of races, but he is not constant. However, Lorenzo can keep a fast pace during all races. This way Honda gets two very competitive riders, but this won’t be harder than managing one, it might even be easier. A team with two outstanding riders has much more chances to get good results.

Alessio Salucci is a life-long friend of Valentino. As a parent, what’s your first memory of those two together?

I remember when they used to go behind the walls in Tavullia to rear up with their Ape, and they were always together. They also used to race around Tavullia and a couple of times they even got in trouble with the Carabinieri, but they never got caught so I can say they had a very lucky childhood.

Do you think they will enjoy some satisfactions as managers of the VR46 team in the MotoGP category in 2021…?

I don’t think so, Valentino will keep on racing, but with cars.

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