Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi cut a lonely furrow in yesterdays Catalan MotoGP race at Montmelo, Barcelona. The Factory Yamaha man rode to a lonely fourth place behind eventual winner Lorenzo and the Repsol Honda pair of Pedrosa and Marquez.
|Rossi expected a podium on Sunday
Photo: Yamaha Factory Racing
Rossi got a trademark good start and slotted neatly in to fifth place at the tight turn 1 just ahead of his Mugello nemesis, Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista. Fortunately for Rossi the threat of Bautista didn’t last long as the Spaniard lost the front of his Honda at Turn 10, testing the abraision resistance of his leathers as he slid in to the gravel.
Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was firmly in the Italians sights as both riders struggled on full fuel tanks, unable to take he fight to the front three in the early laps before Crutchlow, in his haste to keep in touch with Marquez, caught his engine casing on the raised kerb of turn 7 and crashing out of the race; after that it was consistent lap times for Rossi in a fairly lonely ride to the flag.
Rossi said afterwards “We wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but anyway it was quite a good race. Race by race, apart form the unlucky times, especially like Mugello, we grow up and I am able to ride the bike in a better way. We still have some challenges, especially in the first part of the race where I still don’t have the right setting to push to the maximum. After some laps my pace was not so bad and we were not so far from the top guys. We did a good job and we will now go for two days of testing where we will try to improve further. We don’t give up, we will make another step and we will not be so far from the front.”