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Valentino Rossi’s (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) 15-month wait for a MotoGP™ podium finally ended at the Andalucia Grand Prix, thanks to a gruelling third place finish in brutal conditions.
Sunday in Andalucia was one of – if not the – hottest race of Rossi’s Grand Prix career. But the 41-year-old showed no signs that he’s slowing up to battle teammate Maverick Viñales for the entirety. That long-awaited return to the rostrum was The Doctor’s 199th podium in the premier class and heading to the Czech GP, Rossi is hoping the double century is lying in wait.
Rossi is way out front in terms of premier class podiums. His nearest challenger is former teammate Jorge Lorenzo on 114, with Dani Pedrosa on 112 and Marc Marquez tied on 95 with Mick Doohan. Rossi’s 100th podium came with both Lorenzo and Pedrosa on the box at the 2008 Spanish GP, the Italian finishing second behind Pedrosa on that occasion.
The majority of Rossi’s podiums in MotoGP™ have of course come with Yamaha, 142 and counting. With Honda Rossi achieved 54 on his way to three titles, while at Ducati, the number 46 sprayed the bubbly three times.
The last time Rossi was able to stand on the Czech GP podium was in 2016’s cracker, which saw both Rossi and eventual winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) carve their way through the pack in damp conditions after choosing the correct tyres. Can Rossi make it back-to-back podiums in 2020? At a circuit that doesn’t necessarily suit the Yamaha down a tee, it’s not going to be easy – but never discount the nine-time World Champion.