Factory Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi has not changed his pre-season target of podiums to race wins for the Austin MotoGP round despite a stunning charge from mid-pack at Qatar last time out.
The Doctor arrived to Circuit of the Americas late after being held at passport control for more than two hours then missing his connecting flight to find his garage very wet after the neighbouring Monster Yamaha pit caught fire and the emergency services were called.
He believes his race performance this weekend will be better than the March test but says it could be a tough weekend living with the extra acceleration the Repsol Hondas have over the YZR-M1s.
"I am very, very happy about Qatar. But my target remain the same. Before think of being a championship contender, I have to win a race but for sure I am more positive, more optimistic. It was just one race, we have to see and concentrate to take important points. There are 17 races to go, very long," said Rossi speaking to bikesportnews.com at Austin.
"It is true that the Hondas in the test were very, very strong and fast, especially Marquez. But it is also true that Jorge was not very far from the Hondas so our target is to try to go like him but I think this weekend will be more difficult than Doha.
"I think this time Honda have the chance to make the one-two but you never know. We have to see, race is different than test and I think we can be more competitive. The grip during the test was not very good, we suffer a bit but then there were just five bikes.
"Now, from tomorrow, we have Moto3, Moto2, all the MotoGP, practice by practice, I think it will improve. I am hoping the weather remain good."