Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 04 May 2015
Valentino Rossi has said his half of the Movistar Yamaha garage were fighting problems all weekend during the fourth round of the 2015 MotoGP championship at Jerez.
The nine-times world champion fought through to take third in Sunday’s race, extending his championship lead over second-placed Dovizioso, but was unable to challenge Jorge Lorenzo at the front.
It had looked as though the 36-year-old would catch up with the Repsol Honda of Marc Marquez in second place, but the injured Spaniard upped the pace to maintain his gap to the Italian.
“There was one moment in the race where I thought I could catch Marc, because I was riding well and had a good pace”, said Rossi. “But sincerely it was a difficult weekend for us. We were always fighting some problem. We improved for the race, but I knew that Jorge had a better pace than anybody. I thought I could stay with Marc. But unfortunately I was not strong enough in the first laps and I lost some time overtaking Pol [Espargaro]. After I pushed a lot, but in the last laps I didn't feel very confident with the bike. I had to risk too much. I got to within one second of Marc, but I started to have some problems, some issues, so I thought it was too risky to try.
“Anyway it is another podium, I have extended my leadership over Dovizioso - but it looks like after this weekend also Jorge is in the challenge for the championship. He is just 20 points behind, but the championship is still long. We don't have to think about the points yet, just of the bike, trying to be competitive every weekend. Now we have to try to do the maximum to go faster, starting with the test tomorrow [in the test].
More MotoGP news
“I said 'thank you' to Marc, because with him in front made the race easier. If not, alone, it would be very boring! I had his image in front of me. I enjoyed it more because of this and it made the race more short.
We never found the perfect setting. Sincerely we tried something different on Friday and we lost some time. On the Saturday we improved a lot but it was not enough. It was always difficult during the weekend with the tyres. For the rear I expected to race with the hard, which was a little bit better on paper, but unfortunately the hard did not have enough grip. It was too slow. So we had to use the soft. We worked also today and in the warm-up was not so bad, but I knew for the race it would be difficult.”
Rossi leads the championship by 15 points as the series heads to Le Mans for Round 5 in two weeks time.