Valentino Rossi took a pragmatic approach to his Le Mans MotoGP podium yesterday, saying the French track has always been good for Yamaha and, without a couple of crashes, he wouldn’t have been able to take third place.
Last year, the manufacturer dominated and only a late crash from The Doctor stopped a rostrum clean sweep but in 2018 Marquez and Dovizioso had better pace.
“The podium is always important but arrives in a difficult technical moment for us. It is important for me, for the team and for all of Yamaha. After a good weekend, in qualifying I was slow and started from ninth position and I was quite pessimistic as the work we did on Saturday in the end was not good,” said Rossi, speaking at the track.
“Yesterday we worked hard and make some modifications to the bike and it worked well and improved a lot. It improved the acceleration and the grip. This morning in the warm-up it was not so bad as I was P5 and my pace was not so bad.
“I would prefer to say it is good for other race tracks but unfortunately it is the race track that has helped us a lot. We don’t have particular problems, our problems are that our opponents are a little bit faster so we have to work.
“What was more positive was that my rhythm was good and I was able to go faster than in practice, especially as I was able to go fast until the end which is so important.
“This track for us is usually fantastic, last year Yamaha dominated despite my crash as we would have arrived first, second and third. This helps a lot with our bike so we have to work to improve the bike but I enjoyed the race.
“Danilo was always my target for all the race because I overtook at the start but he overtook me again at the first chicane. In my calculations he was the target for the podium. Without some crashes I wasn’t going to be on the podium but I wanted to try to beat him.”