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Rossi hunting 200 MotoGP™ podiums at scene of last success

The Petronas Yamaha rider returns to Jerez having not placed among the top three in 15 rounds of action

Nine World Championships, 115 race wins and 235 podium finishes into a storied Grand Prix career, the grid returns to the scene of Valentino Rossi’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) last rostrum success. Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto plays host to the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain at the weekend, and The Doctor must surely see this is as an opportunity to get his 2021 MotoGP™ campaign on track after an underwhelming start to the season.

The opening three rounds has seen Rossi struggle as he adapts to new surroundings in the Petronas Yamaha garage, but despite his woes, there have been moments of promise. In the season opener, he earned a P4 starting position, while in Portimao he showed some encouraging pace to fight his way into the points scoring positions, before unfortunately crashing out.  

More so, as riders head to the Andalusian city, we return to a track at which the Italian has some brilliant form and history. We have to go way back to 2006 for the last time the Italian finished outside the Top 10 in Jerez, as he traditionally performs well in the south of Spain.

MotoGP™ Race Highlights: 2005 Spanish GP

Of course, we cast our minds back to 2005 where he treated us to one of the most memorable moments in the sport’s history, lunging up the inside of Sete Gibernau at the Jorge Lorenzo corner, as it is now known, to steal victory in the first Grand Prix of the year, and setting him on his way to a fifth World Championship on the trot.

In 2009 he took the chequered flag first ahead of Dani Pedrosa, making his move with 10 laps to go and not looking back. It is also the scene of a classy 2016 victory, starting from pole, he outfought Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to end a seven-year wait for a win in Jerez and launch an attack on the World Championship crown.

Having tasted victory in the Andalusian city on nine occasions, in addition to seven podiums, the legendary Italian knows how to grind out the results in the south of Spain. Add the allure of a 200th premier class podium within his sights, can Rossi kickstart his season, and Petronas SRT career, into life at the Jerez circuit?

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