Here in the US, Rolling Stone magazine may be a shadow of its past as the journal of the counter-culture, but the Italian version of RS were able to coax some very candid comments from Valentino Rossi about former rival and fellow World Champion Casey Stoner.
Rolling Stone Italy is edited by longtime racing fan Michele Lupi. He is also a close personal friend of Rossi's.
Rossi was the subject of a recent interview in Rolling Stone, and he didn't hold back when praising and criticizing Stoner. Rossi was winless in two seasons with Ducati in 2011-12, while Stoner won 23 races and the 2007 world title in four seasons on Borgo Panigale from 2007-10.
"Stoner did an amazing job at Ducati," Rossi said in Rolling Stone. "When I looked back at his telemetry, I used to wonder how he achieved such times. I immediately realized the bike wasn't the best.
"I'm certain that, was Stoner to climb onto Dovizioso's Ducati tomorrow, he'd still manage to finish a race in sixth place. He used to ride in an incredible way. He's unique."
But Rossi doesn't miss the prickly and deeply distrustful of the opposition Stoner in the paddock, a sentiment shared by several other MotoGP riders.
"Do I miss him?" Rossi said. "On the track, yes. He has fantastic talent and was difficult to beat. But off the track, no, I don't miss him. Without him there is much better camaraderie between the riders."
Rossi also confirmed in the interview the paddock legend that he realized immediately he made a big mistake leaving Yamaha for Ducati during his first test on the Desmosedici in November 2010 at Valencia.
"The first time I rode the Ducati I was very surprised," Rossi said. "After three laps I thought, 'We're in the sh*t.' That was the time I needed to realize I had made a mistake. I had not had a chance to test the bike before signing the contract."
And The Doctor admitted he gave serious thought to terminating his contract with Ducati midway through his first season with the team.
"The problems were clear from the beginning," Rossi said "I just thought: 'OK. We will try to improve this bike. We work on it throughout the first half of the season.' But after 10 races began to realize that I was never going to win a race with it.
"Rumors about wanting to terminate the contract were true. There was absolutely no way I could do it. And that was good. It would have been a big mistake. It would have been too easy to say, 'I'm staying at home' when things were not going well. You should never give up."