Monster Energy factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi believes that the combination of he and his M1 are a stronger package than they were in 2018, despite finishing one place lower in the 2019 Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.
It was damage limitation for the Italian this weekend. After only being able to qualify on the fifth row of the grid, Rossi’s late race pace helped him to a respectable sixth place finish, just under the final podium spot, which was taken by his team-mate Maverick Vinales.
“I had a better race than last year, where I finished fifth, but only because many riders fell,” explained ‘The Doctor’.
“I kept a good pace, even in in the final laps and the gap to the podium decrease and I was faster overall by more than 20 seconds.
“We’re stronger than 2018, the championship is still long and it will be difficult, but we’re going in the right direction.
“But today, I can’t be completely happy because I wanted to fight for the podium, and I didn’t.”
Rossi kept in touch with the leaders of the World Championship, despite his sixth place finish. When asked about his chances of winning a famous tenth World Championship, he said: “I’m not too far, but the problem is called Marquez. If he didn’t fall in Austin, his advantage would be bigger. Dovizioso and Rins are also very strong.
“I believe we can fight for the podium to win races, so I must stay close to the top in the standings. Certainly Marc and Honda seem the perfect combination. The best rider on the best bike.”