MotoGP star Valentino Rossi will kick off the second half of his Yamaha comeback season at Indianapolis this weekend.

The seven time champion claimed four podiums, including his first victory since 2010, during the first half of the season, putting him fourth overall in the standings.

Currently 46 points - his famous racing number - behind Honda's title leader Marc Marquez, Rossi's title chances are slim.

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However The Doctor should continue to be a regular podium threat and battle for more wins before the season is out.

Rossi won the inaugural 2008 Indianapolis race, halted due to a hurricane, but hasn't been on the Indy podium since. This weekend's event marks the start of three back-to-back races.

"I have great memories of Indianapolis and I'm happy to be back there on my M1, although it's not one of my favourite tracks," said the Italian. "I needed these holidays to recharge my batteries, even if we had two days of testing right in the middle.

"Indianapolis will be the first one of three consecutive races and it will be very important to do good results everywhere. My team and I still have much work to do on the M1 therefore they will be three very demanding weeks but we feel ready for the challenge."

Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo are believed to have debuted Yamaha's version of a seamless shift gearbox at Brno, but few details have so far emerged.