Martedì, 25 Settembre 2018

MotoGP: Rossi shows he's still a challenger


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, April 8 - Valentino Rossi has expressed his
delight at finished second in his first MotoGP Grand Prix since
returning to Yamaha on Sunday in Qatar.
The result suggests Italy's nine-time world champion still
has what it takes to be a title contender after two winless
seasons at Ducati.
The 34-year-old never got to grips with Ducati's powerful
but notoriously hard-to-handle race machines.
But he seems to have immediately rediscovered his touch
after rejoining Japanese outfit Yamaha, with whom he won four of
his seven premium-class world titles during his 2004-2010 sting
stint with them.
In Qatar Rossi won a duel with Honda's MotoGP debutant
Marc Marquez at the floodlit race to complete a Yamaha one-two
behind his teammate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
"I'm more than happy, very happy indeed because it was my
dream to come back with Yamaha," said Rossi, who won four of his
seven premium-class world titles during his first stint at
Yamaha between 2004 and 2009.
"To arrive on the podium in the first race had been my
target since November and I put all my effort into being at my
best here".
The result was all the more impressive as Rossi only
qualified seventh on the grid and had to recover after losing
ground on the second lap while trying to overtake his
replacement at Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso.
"It was a difficult weekend, especially in qualifying, but
I knew I had great pace so I tried to recover in the beginning,
but I made a mistake and I lost time," Rossi said.
"I had to do a great second part of the race and
step-by-step I came closer to my podium.
"In the end there was a great battle, especially with Marc
for second place.
"I'm so happy for me, for my team, for my friends, all my
fans who stayed with me through two difficult years and also for
"To start the season with first and second place is not
"They gave me another chance to be in this team and I think
we will enjoy this season".
Rossi is second in motorcycling's all-time race-win
standings with 105 victories.
His positive start to the campaign will have lifted his
hopes of making inroads into the lead of his compatriot Giacomo
Agostini, who won 122 grands prix in various classes in the
1960s and 70s.
"What a terrific start to the season, we are of course very
pleased with the result," said Yamaha Team Manager Wilco
"There are 17 races to go and it looks like it will be a
fantastic season.
"The first race is always quite important to get a little
advantage and have a good feeling.
"To have your first win for Jorge and of course second with
Vale is great for the team and for the spirit because it will be
a long season as we know so for everybody it's a big boost".

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