Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio believes the Italian was driven to new levels of determination and desire last season by the stinging criticism he received at the end of 2007.
After a shocking ‘07 campaign, Rossi had to contend with accusations that he was incapable of fighting with a new wave of young talent like Casey Stoner.
But Brivio believes it was a fatal mistake to write Rossi off, with the 29-year-old’s resolve strengthened by the challenge of reclaiming the world title for the first time since 2005.
“The young generation guys motivated him. They are coming up strong and in the past with the older generation like Sete (Gibernau) and Max (Biaggi), he was always winning, so probably that generation almost gave up with Valentino.
"But the young generation came with a fresh energy, they don’t care about reputations, and they come with the intention to beat Valentino. They challenged him much more now than ever before. As a reaction to that, Valentino needed to put more effort in.
"He needed to use his experience but he also needed to be well prepared,“ said Brivio, who said Rossi had been fired up by those who said he was finished at the end of 2007 – his second successive world title defeat.
“This gave him a strong motivation. I’m sure it was one of the motivations to work hard and comeback. It is a big motivation when you believe you can do it again.
"Valentino and the team and everybody around him never stopped believing in him or doubted he could do it. Nobody ever thought Valentino was finished or he was getting too old and he couldn’t do it anymore. Experience makes a man stronger, whether its good or bad experiences,“ Brivio told MCN.
Rossi ended his successful 2008 campaign when he topped the timesheets in last week’s Jerez test session. The winter test ban is now in force.
Do you think Rossi was spurred on by Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo? Post a comment below.