Gianni Ronaldo, former 500 rider and friend of Valentino Rossi, spoke about the situation his friend is currently experiencing in the MotoGP World Championship. The former rider does not doubt that there is still much to see from ‘Il Dottore’.
This weekend the World Cup gave Valentino Rossi back the joy in his box, albeit momentarily. The Italian who went directly to Q2 thanks to his top-10 lifted his entire box, which was euphorically celebrating a simple step such as the passage to the second qualifying session. An old friend of his father, Gianni Rolando, one of the best private riders in the 500cc World Championship in the 1970s, has spoken of the current moment the nine-time World Champion is going through.
“I was thrilled to see the entire Valentino team in the pits after the Barcelona GP practice, cheered with joy because they had secured tenth place and, therefore, a direct entry into Q2. Valentino himself seemed like a rookie to me in his first MotoGP race when he returned to the pits, he had reached the goal of Q2. Fantastic! We are talking about a rider who broke all kinds of records, and was as happy as a rookie”, he explained.
The illusion of a rookie
The truth is that this was a moment of joy that will take time to forget in the Petronas box. “Other riders who have won less take it for granted that they will make it to Q2. But often it doesn’t happen for a simple reason: 22 riders are in a second or a little over a second. Now it is more difficult to lick the chocolate, you have to work hard to get it. How many times has Viñales failed? Dovizioso, Morbidelli, Márquez, Miller and many others did not always make it straight to Q2. But if Valentino doesn’t qualify right away, he starts with the stupid bar talk of people who have never worn a leather suit. ”
For Ronaldo, Rossi’s performance is to be admired despite his results. “I love motorcycling and all riders, but you have to admit that Rossi has the illusion and the will to be the novice of wrinkles,” said Rolando, who appropriately introduced the word “Rooghie”. Because the Italian word for wrinkles is “rughe”, which in combination with “rookie” becomes “rooghie”.
And he is clear that there is still a lot to do with ‘Il Dottore’. “The World Cup is still long and I am convinced that if Rooghie managed to finish fourth, I will enter the pits and celebrate it as if he had won. Totally in contrast to others, who after a sixth place seem like three days of rain. What makes the difference? The enthusiasm of a rookie that not everyone has”.