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Rossi: "The race was a bit strange"

Rossi: 'The race was a bit strange'

Valentino Rossi admits the title race is more important than victory after crossing the line in fifth but extending his championship lead.

Despite threatening clouds and spots of rain, the Doctor flew off the line at the start of the 28-lap sprint and held third position going into the first corner. He held Dani Pedrosa at bay as he chased teammate Lorenzo and rival Marc Marquez. Trying to keep in contention with the front group, he closed the gap when he set a fastest lap of the race thus far of 1‘33.894 on lap three.

Rossi caught up with the race leaders as rain started to fall and joined them going into the pits on lap seven, to reenter the track in seventh place. Two laps later all riders had come in to switch bikes, restoring the order to Rossi riding in third place as he hunted down Marquez and Lorenzo for the lead.

Lapping more than a second quicker he used all his experience in tricky conditions and with 17 laps to go was right on their rear tyres. He overtook Marquez on the next lap, while a dry line started to form. On lap 15 the Doctor decided to make his move on Lorenzo and had the fans jumping to their feet when he led the race for the first time, but there was more drama on its way.

The track had dried up and several riders started to switch back to a bike with a dry set up. The Italian hero decided to stay out as long as possible and pushed to the maximum to create a margin between him and his teammate. He was the last rider to come in for a second bike swap after 20 laps and rejoined the track in fifth place. He was eager to ride back to a podium finish but was unable to close the gap to the rider in fourth place and finished the race in fifth, 33.196s behind race eventual race winner Marquez.

Rossi has now extended his championship lead over his teammate to 23-points with just five races remaining. Up next is the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon on September 27th.

Valentino Rossi: “It‘s true that the championship is a lot more important than winning this race, it‘s the main target. Unfortunately Jorge crashed and I was able to gain another 11points. This is good for the championship, but it‘s a shame to miss out on the podium, because I wanted to arrive in the top three in front of all the spectators. It was a crazy race and when you have to change the bike, in this case twice, you need luck and rapid thinking to understand the situation. Fifth is still a good result and we‘re looking forward to the next race in Aragon. There are still five races left and unfortunately Lorenzo has the ability to win at every single one and Marquez is also always strong, so there are still a lot of points left to fight for. Aragon is always a difficult track, but we did some tests there and my lap times weren‘t so bad, so we have to try to do a good race and arrive on the podium.

It's unbelievable because the number of fans here in Misano was fantastic! I have to say thank you to everybody for this support. It’s a big shame because the race was a bit strange, I wasn’t able to arrive on the podium, but anyway thanks to everybody, it's fantastic and it’s a special emotion. The result is good for the championship. Yeah, I wanted to try to do a better race to arrive on the podium but I wasn’t able to. Unfortunately Jorge did a mistake and crashed and we increased the lead. This is what is important."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, GRAN PREMIO TIM DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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