After a particularly physical race at Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi came away wondering if he needed to change his style to keep up with the younger racers. The 38 year old came away with tire marks on his suit after making contact with Marc Marquez according to Autosport.com.
Referring to his “vintage” riding style, Rossi said racing now requires a different approach than he has used in the past.
“I probably have to forget the way I used to race a few years ago. Getting angry doesn’t achieve anything.” He said. Where he believes racers of old had an unspoken rule about avoiding unnecessary contact, he thinks racers today have thrown that out the window.
“Maybe I’m a bit ‘vintage’, but I have to adapt. I was also very aggressive, so I am not one to talk.” Rossi said. “The only difference is that some years ago it could have been like this on the last three laps, now it’s for the last 25.”
The seven time champ isn’t mad at it though, admitting that the more aggressive style is just “part of the game.”
But he did still call out a few riders by name about what may or not have been overzealous applications of muscle, saying:
“I think we are correct to be aggressive up to a certain point and this was a really a great race, even if I had to trade paint with Iannone and Zarco, and maybe take a couple of hits from Marquez. It’s part of the game. Otherwise you need to stay at home.”
Rossi was fourth place in the championship standings before breaking his leg in a motocross accident earlier this year, but has returned to form and remains in fourth overall. He is 81 points down with only two races to go, so any change in style will have to take place next year if he wants to add another championship.