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Rossi vs Stoner: Well, That Escalated Quickly
by staff
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Casey Stoner is in Australia, testing V8 Supercars and presumably fishing and enjoying time with his wife and daughter.

Valentino Rossi is in Europe, participating in rally events, a supermoto event to benefit the Marco Simoncelli Foundation and preparing for what he hopes will be a more tranquil, successful two years back at Yamaha after escaping Ducati.

The two rivals are worlds apart. They're at very different junctions in their careers and lives. Yet they can't stop clawing and hissing at each other like two angry tomcats fighting over territory.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Rossi started this latest bout against Stoner in an in-depth interview in Dainese's Legends magazine. Rossi claims Stoner started to hate him after Rossi's daring pass of Stoner in the dirt adjacent to the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca en route to an unlikely victory in 2008, the year after Stoner's first MotoGP world title. Stoner, who fell later in the race, fumed about Rossi's counterpunch in the Corkscrew and refused to shake his hand in parc ferme after the race.

"Stoner started to hate me just because he lost," Rossi said. "After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race (Laguna), because he wasn't man enough to understand that at that time, he lost!"

Rossi conveniently leaves out any mention of the past 24 months, where, essentially, Stoner upended Rossi and used his head to mop the floor of every racetrack on the schedule.

Stoner parried Wednesday through Twitter, saying, "I think Valentino feels a little braver now that I'm not there."

Two-time MotoGP World Champion Stoner also thinks his replacement at Repsol Honda, reigning Moto2 champion Marc Marquez, will keep turning the screws in Rossi's head in 2013.

"I think Marc Marquez will do a good job stirring things up next year also, should be good to watch!"

Let's hope so. Stoner's presence in the Grand Prix paddock was much more robust than just his ability to wring every last bit of performance from a prototype motorcycle.

No one got inside Valentino Rossi's head quite like the Australian in the last six years. Who can forget Stoner's epic, "Your ambition outweighed your talent?" barb to Rossi after Rossi submarined Stoner out of the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011?

MotoGP needs more of these real Crips vs. Bloods beefs, not the vanilla lovefest seen between former Spanish archrivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa in 2012.

ENDS

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