After securing his best grid spot since 2010, Valentino Rossi could only finish fourth at Sepang, describing the race as a ‘half and half’ experience.
Rossi referred to the positives and negatives, meaning that he was pleased to have close the gap somewhat on his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who he trailed across the line by 3.7s, but disappointed to see the advantage his Repsol Honda rivals had over him.
Valentino Rossi dropped initially to fourth off the line from his second place grid position, tucked in behind Marc Marquez on the first lap.
The nine-time World Champion made a move on Marquez at turn 10 but was unable to pass and settled back into fourth. Rossi spent several laps holding off the advances of Alvaro Bautista, narrowly escaping an incident when the Spanish rider overshot turn one, just missing Rossi as he ran wide.
The rest of the race proved to be a lonely one as he held his position in fourth, crossing the line just over ten seconds behind winner Pedrosa. It is his seventh fourth place finish of 2013 and he has now finished in the top four at the last ten races.
"Today was half and half for me," Rossi explained. "For sure we improved and made another step, improving the setting of the bike and I was able to be very close to Jorge. It looks like today our competitors had an advantage here; they were able to keep a better rhythm than us."
"Starting from second I hoped to arrive on the podium but I knew the top three guys were very strong. At the beginning of the race I lost some time as I had a problem with the front brakes. We continue to work and push and fight to be in with the top three."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Team Director added, "The weekend didn't go as we expected. We suffered a drop off in tyre life and the riders couldn't ride as they needed to. We tried hard to make the best setting to be fast and consistent but unfortunately we still needed something more. We won’t give up until the end and fortunately there is one race in a week’s time. We would like to have our revenge so we are really looking forward to Phillip Island."