Despite picking up only his third MotoGP podium of the season, Valentino Rossi admits he expected to do somewhat better in the German Grand Prix as he fell well short of an anticipated victory challenge.
Arriving in Germany after a stunning return to the top of the podium last time at Assen, Rossi had been tipped for another challenge, particularly in the absence of Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. But while he rallied early on by tussling with Stefan Bradl and Marc Marquez, he would eventually fade.
Claiming to be suffering with the rear of his Yamaha from lap ten, Rossi would go on to lose out to M1 counterpart Cal Crutchlow before circulating in what became a fairly lonely third position.
Indeed, though Rossi was pleased with the healthy haul of points, with his championship position improving as a result of Pedrosa and Lorenzo's withdrawal, he says he must strive to go faster if he wants to turn it into a title challenge.
“It's a good result, to stay on the podium is always a good result but I expected something more and to do a better race. During the weekend we made some choices, yesterday we decided to set up the bike in one way and today after some laps I started to suffer too much.
“The first ten laps were not so bad but after I started to have problems and it was too difficult to turn the bike, especially on the left I was sliding too much. We have to work to try and make another step to stay with the top guys. Next we will have Laguna, a very special track, and we will try to have better results there.
“We are five very fast riders and we are closer now because unfortunately Dani and Jorge are injured and we have another race next week. If I want to fight for the Championship I have to go faster and I have to be constantly faster so I have to make another step.”
Asked if he has a plan to make that next step, Rossi replied:
“Yeah we have a plan. Sincerely we are a little bit delayed with our programme. For me, coming from two very difficult seasons, I have to recover my feeling with this bike and continue to work day by day to improve. I am still not at 100 percent. But it is normal. The championship is long and we have some ideas.”