Italian GQ recently asked nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi if he could invent a new motorcycling championship, what would be his rules? Here is Rossi’s response:
“First, the right number of competitors is 24 or 26. At the moment, I’d keep the four-strokes, even if everyone loves the 500cc two-strokes, but unfortunately the world is now four-stroke. I believe the right displacement is 1000cc, not 800cc, with a limit of 16,000 to 17,000 rpm, not 19,000 as it is right now, so the bikes cannot reach 360 km/h. I think that 320 km/h is more than enough.
“I’d remove a lot of electronics and rider aids. We could keep some traction control, just a little because the bikes would be powerful. I’d like a quarter of electronics that we use now. You know, we can now set the power, throttle and traction control at every turn, for every gear. The bike knows exactly where it is on track, and then taking advantage of the electronics you can adapt it so that it runs perfectly at every turn.
“I’d keep the traction control but make it fixed and not adaptable to any type of turn. No anti-wheelie control, no engine braking control, so we could see beautiful wheelies and drifting on the brakes and hard-fought races. For me, this would be the best kind of series. And the tires? Open. The competition between manufacturers is positive.”
The full interview with Rossi was published in the October, 2010, issue.