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A tough preseason, starting in tenth after cancelled qualifying, Warm Up outside the top ten…and then straight back onto the podium? The legendary Sunday charger was back in full force in the opening race of the year in Qatar, as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) moved up from P10 on the grid to a stunning P3 on the podium.
It certainly wasn’t an expected turn of events for the Italian, who explained he struggled much more in the warmer temperatures of Warm Up – and gained a lot from a race start delayed due to the weather, with temperatures then falling further. But however unexpected it may have been, it fits well in Rossi’s track record at Losail.
Now, the plan is to use a full race of data to analyse where to go from here – with some sudden light at the end of a preseason tunnel for the nine-time World Champion.
Valentino Rossi, P3: “For sure, if I had to bet on me being on the podium today, I wouldn’t have bet! Maybe ten euros? But we never gave up, and tried the maximum. We tried three or four settings with the bike this morning in Warm Up and it was bad. In the daytime, I finished the tyre in three corners - so these conditions for me were better. We changed the bike again for the race and I felt good, I had a great start. I hope this race gives us enough information – so we can understand how to continue in this way. I'm happy because I saw Maverick for all the race - and that never happened in testing!”
Rossi: "We never give up"
1 year ago