Rossi not expecting pay cut in downturn

Valentino Rossi has said that the economic downturn will not affect him this season, but expressed his sympathy for the teams that have had to cut back

Rossi not expecting pay cut in downturn

In a press conference at Jerez, the reigning world champion joked that he reckoned his salary would be safe as he had secured his new Yamaha contract before the financial crisis.

"I'm very lucky because I sign my contract around June," he said, triggering plenty of laughter from the assembled journalists. "I don't know if there is some news, but I think (my) salary will be the same and no one from Yamaha says (to me) it will be less."

Talking more seriously, Rossi admitted that life would be harder for team personnel.

"Things change a lot," he said. "The sacrifice is more for the people of the team. My mechanics come all the way from Australia a lot of times and maybe they come in economy, but for me personally and all the riders we remain the same."

He thinks the only adjustment for the riders will be adapting to the reduced practice time, with the Friday morning sessions now removed, testing cancelled for most of the year, and other sessions truncated.

"Changes are more about technical (matters) because we have less time to set the bike up," said Rossi. More than 1.5 hours less during for the weekend for practice and no more tests during the season so for sure the way to work on the bike changes.

"I am quite worried because a lot of times we arrived on the right setting only on Sunday morning. So it will be more difficult for everybody but the real sacrifices are (for) others and more the people that work in the hospitality or down in the garage."

Many teams have implemented cheaper travel arrangements with even some team managers travelling in economy class to the long haul races.

Rossi's crew chief Jerry Burgess was one of the most outspoken voices on cutting travel costs, citing the fact that he sat on aeroplanes for 497 hours during the 2007 season, and the fact that his latest trip from Australia to Jerez took him 45 hours.

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