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Argentina saw Valentino Rossi step onto the podium for the first time in 2016, but it wasn’t easy and it won’t be easy in Austin.
For the 50th time in his premier class career, Valentino Rossi took to the second step of the podium after a difficult race in Argentina. The race saw riders change their bikes at half distance due to rear tyre issues, Rossi’s second M1 encountering an issue with the rear, which saw him unable to challenge for victory. With second in the race came second in the championship, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider eight points from the top.
It was by no means an easy weekend nor an easy podium and the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas looks to be another up hill battle. The Circuit of the Americas has classically seen Yamaha riders struggle, front tyres devoured by the hungry Austin track. In 2015 Rossi achieved his first, and so far only, podium at the American track, a third place finish. Meanwhile his current title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has never been defeated at COTA. Once again the weather could play a decisive role in the race, rain potentially falling on race day which could again throw up surprises.
Valentino Rossi: “I am happy to return to Texas and to race at COTA. We have to work hard in Austin because it's crucial to understand quickly how bike, tyres, electronics and this track work together. Furthermore in the last laps of the race I‘m not very strong so we need to improve with the bike on these tyres. Historically it is a difficult circuit for us and for Yamaha, but last year I could arrive on the podium so I will try also this year.”
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