Nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle world champion Rossi ended his illustrious career at the end of the Valencia Grand Prix final last month, the end of his 26th season.
Rossi’s career was shaped by the numerous intense rivalries he had with greats like Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
When asked by Motorsport.com what his favorite rivalry was, Rossi said, “The rivalry in all sports at the highest level, maybe especially MotoGP, is something you don’t particularly like.
“But it’s fantastic to give the maximum, to push your limits and to find something within yourself that you don’t know you have.
“I’ve had big, big rivalries in my career and I really enjoyed it, especially the first part because I won more.
“I lost more in the second part, but I still enjoyed it. I want to say [my favourite] with Biaggi, because there were two Italians. It was a great movement in Italy too.
“But I’ve also always had fun with Stoner, Lorenzo, at the end with Marquez and with all the guys in recent years. It is something that, after having positively remembered it, you have something special. “
Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team, leads Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Martin Heath / Motorsport Images
During the Algarve GP weekend, 2007 World Champion Stoner expressed appreciation for what he had learned from racing against Rossi and the “amazing fights”.
Commenting on his time at Stoner, Rossi said the Australian was “one of the wildest” riders of all time in MotoGP.
“I’ve ridden with Casey all his career in MotoGP because it wasn’t very long since he arrived in 2006 and left in 2012,” he noted.
“It wasn’t long ago, but he showed his incredible natural talent and was always very, very fast in his first year with the Honda.
“That’s why I’m very happy to be fighting with him because he was one of the fastest and wildest MotoGP riders in history.”