|Rossi held off rookie Marc Marquez to take second
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP
Returning to Yamaha for the 2013 season, Valentino Rossi proved he’s still got it after providing fans around the world with a thrilling battle for second position, completing a Yamaha 1-2 on the podium in Qatar.
Valentino’s first race back at Yamaha was one to be remembered. After getting caught in traffic in the new qualifying format, he started from seventh
on the grid. As the lights went out he quickly shot into fourth position, but dropped back down into seventh after making a mistake when trying to pass Andrea Dovizioso.
By the eighth lap of 22 he was charging through the field and started to bring down a gap of four seconds to catch the battle for the podium.
The nine time world champion soon passed Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa, but third position wasn’t enough for The Doctor and he entered into a fantastic battle with Marc Marquez for second position. Rossi finished 0.211 seconds ahead of Marquez to claim second position.
Rossi said “I’m more than happy, very happy indeed because it was my dream to come back with Yamaha. To arrive on the podium at the first race was my target from November and I put all my effort to arrive at the maximum here. It was a difficult weekend, especially yesterday in qualifying, but I know I had great pace so I tried to recover in the beginning but I made a mistake and I lost time. I had to do a great second part of the race and step by step I came close to my podium. In the end there was a great battle, especially with Marc for the second place. I’m so happy for me, for my team, for my friends and all my fans who stay with me through two difficult years and also for Yamaha, to start the season with first and second place is not so bad!”