17 August 2014
MotoGP Brno: Rossi: Finally I can beat Marquez!
Valentino Rossi takes heart after crossing line ahead of Marc Marquez for the first time this season at Brno, but Movistar Yamaha rider still has higher aspirations than third place
Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was relieved to finally finish ahead of Marc Marquez as the Italian star claimed the last rostrum place in the Czech MotoGP at Brno.
Rossi, who injured his little finger following a crash in FP4, reeled in and passed the Repsol Honda rider to grab the final spot on the podium.
The race, won by Dani Pedrosa ahead of Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, ended a perfect run of ten wins for Marquez in 2014.
“Finally I can beat Marquez! I like Marc but it's great, finally after 10 races. It is another podium and we started the second part of the season in a good way, but it is third place so we have to try to do better,” Rossi said.
“If I beat Marc but I only finished fifth, I would anyway be not very happy. So the podium is more important.
“I'm happy with the race. It is for sure the best session during the weekend. It was difficult for me because yesterday at a very important moment I made a mistake, had a bad crash and at that moment we had to try something important on the bike to understand my rhythm.
“Also I had the injury to my finger. So I was very worried especially because this morning I tried to ride without an injection but I had a lot of pain and I didn't feel comfortable,” he added.
“It was difficult to ride and also the bike was difficult to control. I had no grip. But for the race we did a better 'setting' [injection] to the finger and also a better setting to the bike! It was a good race and I enjoyed it a lot. I had a good pace and I can ride the bike well.”
Rossi said it appeared as though Marquez was struggling with the set-up of his RC213V but the nine-time world champion doesn't expect the result to have any impact on Marquez's performances in the coming races.
“It looked like Marc today was not at 100% with the setting of the bike - finally! Because this has happened to us many times, but Marc has always been able to be very strong in the race,” he said.
“Today he wasn't able to ride at the maximum like usual. Some problem with the setting I think. I think that Marc will be exactly the same in future because Marc will not change his mind. He knows in his mind that it [losing] could happen.
“Maybe this time Marc made a mistake during the weekend to set up the bike and MotoGP is like this. If you are not able to be at 100%, if you have a small problem with the setting, you arrive behind.
“During the weekend you have to do, with your team, a lot of decisions about the setting of the bike. Follow one way or another way,” Rossi added.
“There are four or five crucial moments during the weekend to arrive strong in the race. If you make a mistake during the weekend and your rivals make the right way, every track can be the good one [for them].”
Rossi joked that the championship was now there for the taking following Marquez's fourth place finish at Brno.
“For me from today the championship is officially open [laughs]! Because Marc is not so far. It is less than 100 points!” he said.
“No, personally I always try the maximum. I am not so far from Dani but in the last few races he has taken more points from me and has a small advantage. Jorge is behind me, but not so far.”
The Yamaha rider said his injured finger only represented a problem at the beginning of the race, but Rossi had no issues as the laps wore on.
“About my finger, it was a little bit of a problem only at the start and the first laps,” he said. “Because at the start it was difficult with the clutch and also in the first laps I wasn't aggressive enough in braking and I lost contact with Jorge and Dani especially. But after I was 100%. I had no pain.”
Rossi remains positive over the progress with the M1 this season, although the priority remains to try and beat Honda after the rival manufacturer's 11 wins in 11 races this year.
“For sure our M1 is a very, very good bike and I think in the team we work very well, also me and Jorge together and the two teams,” said Rossi.
“We always try the maximum to improve the bike and we always find some small but good improvements. For me personally I'm very happy with the work in the pit box.
“We try to push practice by practice and after warm-up we did a good modification. This way we can put the two M1s on the podium in the last two races. It is a good result but our target is to try to beat Honda that has won them all the races.”
Signing off with a word on Monday's test, Rossi added: “We hope for good weather. We have some things to try but for me personally I have to concentrate, to not make a lot of laps and just do the important things.
“Because for sure I will have to have an injection for the finger and the more injections you have, the less the effect. It is a shame because it is an important day but I will try and do some important work.”
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