Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) made a welcome return to the rostrum at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina having missed out on a Sunday parc ferme spot since the 2018 German GP.
“It was Sachsenring last year which is a long, long time. Especially because last year in the last two races in Malaysia and in Valencia I was first and second but I made two mistakes so to finish the championship like this was really difficult to accept. So, also for this reason, this result is so important for me, for my team, for Yamaha because we arrive from a difficult period and I’m so happy,” said Rossi, who got the better of Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap at Turn 7 to secure P2 in Argentina.
“It was a great fight,” continued ‘The Doctor’. “I tried to stay in front because I expect to be fastest but today with hotter conditions I was in trouble more. Dovi stayed in front but he did a very good race at a very good pace. We are able to make the difference with the guys behind and we remain alone. That moment I know that I have to make the braking very precise, without making any mistake of even one centimetre, if not Dovi will repass. In that point I was good, I entered very fast. And I’m happy because first of all overtake on the last lap is always special and also because I did very good braking.”
This result, coupled with a fantastic comeback ride from 14th to 5th in Qatar suggests Rossi and Yamaha currently stand in good stead for the season. And as the Italian explains, he and his team worked well from the off in Argentina as they continue to work in the right direction.
“I think this weekend we worked very well from Friday morning. We make the right tyre choice, the right modifications in the settings. We followed the right way. I use the medium and a lot of people use the soft but I know that with the medium I can have a good pace. We are a good group, Yamaha work. The challenge is very difficult but the most important thing is going in the right direction and now we see. But MotoGP can change from one day to the other, so imagine from one track to the next and we have to wait for Austin.”
Rossi’s best result at the Circuit of the Americas came in 2017 when he picked up a second place. But what is the 40-year-old expecting this year when the paddock visits Austin in two weeks’ time?
“Austin is a tricky, tricky track. Maybe it’s the most difficult track and technical track of the season but in the last years I feel good. Last year I didn’t arrive on the podium but in 2017, yes. So, we have to do like here, work well, ride well and follow the right direction then we’ll see.”