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MotoGP Malaysia: Rossi: Sepang podium long time coming

Valentino Rossi moves closer to second place in MotoGP World Championship after runner-up finish behind Marc Marquez at Sepang
Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi celebrated a return to the podium at Sepang as he strengthened his grip on second place in the MotoGP World Championship with one race to go.

Rossi enjoyed a spell at the front and was able to hang on to eventual winner Marc Marquez initially when the Repsol Honda rider took the lead on lap 11, but was unable to maintain the same pace on the final laps.

He held on for the runner-up spot ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, extending his advantage over the Spaniard to 12 points as the pair dispute second place in the standings.

“It's been a long time since I arrived on the podium, since 2010 I think [with victory at Sepang] and I love this track and it was shame. Last year I remember it was very frustrating because I lost ten seconds on the top guy and this is one of my best tracks, but it is an important second place, especially for the championship,” said Rossi, who qualified in sixth place for the race.

“We struggled a lot during the weekend for finding the right setting for the bike. I never was so strong in the practice and I wasn't able to ride at 100%, but we continued to work and this morning we improved the bike a lot.

"We modified the setting, especially the weight distribution, for the tyres. We lost in some places - precision and change of direction - but we made the bike love the tyres. This was the key.

“We made another step and the bike was fantastic in the race. I made a good start and had a great battle at the beginning with Jorge. After some laps I was a little bit stronger and I tried to go in front. I saw that Marc was fast but not incredible fast, so I thought that maybe I can win,” he added.

“Also when he overtook me I could stay with him and I wanted to try to fight with him in the last laps but unfortunately I had to slow down a little bit and he was able to keep the same rhythm and he was stronger and won. But anyway, it was a great second place.”

Rossi had taken his second win of the season one week earlier at Phillip Island, when Marquez fell from the lead while experimenting with different 'push-early' race tactics. "I preferred Marc's tactics at Phillip Island!" Rossi quipped on Sunday.

Looking ahead to the final round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship at Valencia, Rossi said is aim remains to fight for the podium as he bids to nail down the runner-up spot behind Marquez.

“I have double the podiums from last year and double the victories from last year at this moment and especially now I am second in the championship; I have 12 points I think on Jorge but there's one to go,” he said.

“In Valencia, I always struggle in my career, but my target is to fight for the podium and try to arrive competitive for the race.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marquez and Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2014
Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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October 26, 2014 10:58 AM

From the practise sessions I did not expect Vale to do well at all today. To see him at the front fighting for the lead and out-pacing Lorenzo was really impressive. I'm actually starting to seriously think he could be a real challenge for the title next year - he seems to be back to just as competitive as his 2009 form to me. And importantly, he can now do his Sunday morning set-up magic tricks again and somehow recover from a slow weekend and challenge for the win. I think he can.smell a title now, he will certainly try his hardest.


October 26, 2014 10:51 AM
Last Edited 727 days ago

Finishing 3rd overall this year would not be very representative of his huge improvement this year over last (with double the podiums). One more and it would be his most since 09 with 13. He is guaranteed at least 3rd but I hope he does get 2nd as he deserves it. I can't say I sit with confidence he'll get a podium each race day like in past years, but he's done so well I'm actually dissapointed as he's been SO close to several more wins this year! :) - Catalunya leading for so long, Qatar, Mugello I'm convinced he'd have won with better qualifying, not to mention tyre issue in Texas, the bump from Bradl, the 2 wet gamble races and unfortunate Aragon crash. It's been a great year, but actually it could have been much much better.

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