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By Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi: "It's always difficult in a flag-to-flag"

Nine-time World Champion leaves it late to switch before slicing through to fourth

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) got a good start and was into the lead not long after at the Czech GP, but a quickly drying track saw the ‘Doctor’ then come in for a bike swap a little late – along with key title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Rossi was then charged with the task of moving back through the field from outside the top ten, but the number 46 kept his head down and managed just that – taking Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) for fourth on the final lap, damage limitation complete and only just off the podium.

The rider from Tavullia says the conditions - or the flag-to-flag races - are something he's struggled with, but is happy to have improved from the last one - and has more than kept himself in the title fight.

Valentino Rossi, P4: "It is always difficult in these conditions in a flag-to-flag. It for sure isn't our strongest point, this type of racing, but in the end the result is not so bad. We improved a lot from the last flag-to-flag and I finished fourth, but I think that before the end of my career we can defeat this flag-to-flag race situation! Anyway, I think that in a full dry or full wet race I can fight for the podium for sure. It remained a good weekend, because we worked well in the box. I felt good with the bike, that's important, and I was strong on the wet and on the dry. The race was very hard, I pushed from the beginning to the end. It's a shame that we could have taken more points and arrived on the podium, but it's like this and in this condition fourth place is not so bad."