Valentino Rossi is determined to get his 2013 MotoGP season back on track in Catalunya this weekend, after a disastrous home race in Mugello that saw him crash out on the first lap after a collision with Alvaro Bautista.
Rossi has been absent from the podium since riding through the field to second place on his Yamaha return in the Qatar season-opener - and has scored just four points in the last two events.
The good news is that he escaped injury during the heavy Mugello impact.
"For a few days after I had the crash at Mugello, I hurt everywhere!” Rossi revealed. “Fortunately I was able to start training immediately and I did not waste any time. The Barcelona race will be very important, especially after recent results.”
Catalunya would be as good a place as any for a turnaround in Rossi's fortunes, the nine-time world champion having claimed more grand prix victories at Montmeló than any other rider. Rossi took a 125cc win in 1997, followed by 250cc wins in 1998 and 1999, then premier-class victories in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 - when he overtook team-mate Jorge Lorenzo
at the very final turn.
“I want to get on the podium in Spain and I will do my best as usual,” said Rossi, who is yet to claim a front row start this season. “It will be important to start the weekend in the best way and make a good qualifying. It will be very important to start from the front.”
Rossi's recent woes mean has now dropped to sixth in the championship standings, behind fellow M1 riders Lorenzo (second) and Cal Crutchlow (fourth) as well as his Ducati replacement Andrea Dovizioso
“Valentino needs a good result here as he has had some bad luck in the last two races,” said team director Massimo Meregalli. “We are ready for him to recover what he has lost over the last two rounds and perform as we know he can in Catalunya.”
Rossi finished seventh at Catalunya last season, riding for Ducati.