Valentino Rossi saw his podium hopes scuppered by an incident with Stefan Bradl early in Sunday's MotoGP of Argentina.

A key player during the intense early race battles, Rossi had been attacking for the lead at the end of the opening lap.

Some 'moments' followed but the Italian was still in the thick of the action when he was forced wide by Bradl at the end of the back straight on lap 5 of 25, dropping him to seventh place.

After front tyre problems in Texas, it was again a case of what might have been for the nine time world champion, who climbed back through the field to fourth position at the chequered flag - just 1.6s from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and a place on the podium.

"I had the potential and the pace to end on the podium and especially to fight with the three guys in front," said Rossi.

"Unfortunately in the first laps first of all I made a mistake and lost a bit but the place I lost some more was when Bradl made a mistake.

"He arrived too deep in braking and he pushed me out of the track and I lost two seconds on that lap and so I lose the podium.

"I'm looking forward to Jerez now, one of the most special and important weekends of the year. The target is the podium but we have to work to improve the bike to fight with the Hondas."

Rossi, running the hardest tyres front and rear, gave a shrug of the shoulders when he returned to the pits, having set the fastest Yamaha lap of the race, only 0.075s behind the best by race winner Marc Marquez.

"It is a shame that Vale's rhythm during the race couldn't be capitalised on at the end to have both riders on the podium," said team director Massimo Meregalli. "Vale had difficulty stopping his bike in the beginning because of a combination of the hard front and very hot front brake temperatures."

Rossi remains third in the world championship behind Honda riders Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, but is now 34-points from the top.

Rossi did at least have something to celebrate on Sunday, a debut win for his new Moto3 team courtesy of Romano Fenati.

"I'm very proud of Romano because he was fantastic, but I'm also very proud of everyone in the team. A podium was great but to win is fantastic."


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