Valentino Rossi is celebrating his second MotoGP World Championship podium of the season in Jerez after reaping the rewards from a 'risky' decision to choose the extra-hard front tyre for his Yamaha.
Starting from his best position of the season in fourth, Rossi made the most of his stronger than usual grid slot to grab second early on before getting the jump on Marc Marquez at the end of the back straight.
Leading almost to the end of the first lap, though the pair would swap positions at the final corner and again at the start of lap two, Marquez's decisive pass into Dry Sac extinguished any chance for Rossi to respond.
Despite this, the Italian held firm in second place, gradually edging away from Jorge Lorenzo, who in turn was bottling up Dani Pedrosa in fourth. Though Pedrosa would eventually pass Lorenzo and set off on a charge for Rossi, the multiple champion would have enough in reserve to rebuff his late efforts.
A very satisfying second place finish for Rossi, it is the first time he has stood on the podium in Jerez since 2010 and his second podium result of the year.
“I'm very happy because Jerez is one of my favourite circuits and race weekends, also for the people around the track and the atmosphere. We worked very well during the weekend and improved the bike, also this morning and it looked like I could be quite competitive for the race.
I'm very proud and happy to arrive in second position here as it was 2010 the last time I stood on the Jerez podium.”
Reflecting on the decision to opt for the harder front tyre, Rossi says the compound is better suited to his Movistar Yamaha YZF-M1.
“I chose the extra hard tyre on the front, it was a risk but I was worried about the medium at the end of the race. The condition of the track today was very bad, the bike slid everywhere and the front kept closing, I think I did a great job, I did a good start and I tried to stay with Marc but it was impossible.
“After that I tried to keep my pace and push where I could and where my bike was well balanced and I kept quite constant. At the end Dani arrived but I had just a little bit of desperation in the last lap to stay in front. “