Nine-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has said that he expected to be fighting for the podium during Sunday’s Americas GP, as front tyre problems gave ‘The Doctor’ issues for a fourth occasion at COTA.
The Italian showed good pace throughout the practice sessions, regularly in the top three, before qualifying in 5th place. COTA is one of four circuits that Valentino is yet to win at on the current MotoGP calendar, but the Italian was hopeful of turning up to Jerez and going for a repeat performance of 2016.
“It was a good weekend because I was already in the top-5, but in the race I expected to be a bit more competitive, to try and fight for the podium. I knew that Marquez and Maverick were a bit stronger. I hoped I was fast enough for a fight for the podium with Iannone, but Andrea was faster than I was,” said the 89-time premier class winner.
“I wasn’t able to arrive, to attack. I suffered a little bit in the hot conditions, because the front gave me more problems than in the practice. We have to work. Now we have ten days. The next round will be in Europe, where the situation will be different.”
Valentino has won at Jerez a total of nine times across all classes and incredible 21 times in Spain, with his latest success coming in 2016, when he won from pole position. Valentino’s last pole came at Motegi in 2016, whereas his last fastest lap was achieved at Le Mans, the same year.
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