MotoGP »

MotoGP Japan: Rossi: This is so important for the title

'Mentally it was a big stress...To take these 20 points is so important for the championship' - Valentino Rossi.
MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi admitted he was 'very worried' for his title prospects until the pendulum swung back in his favour in the Japanese MotoGP.

Rossi had been lying in second place behind main rival and Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for much of the wet race at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit until Dani Pedrosa mounted a late charge on the Repsol Honda.

Pedrosa, who beat Rossi into the runner-up spot at Aragon where Lorenzo won to claw back nine points in the championship race, proved a thorn in the Italian's side once more as he stole second place away from the 36-year-old yet again.

Crucially, though, on this occasion the rejuvenated Honda rider also had the measure of Lorenzo while Rossi battled back to shunt the Majorcan back to third, increasing his title lead by a four points to 18. Three rounds and 75 points remain undecided.

When Pedrosa made his move on Rossi for second place the nine-times world champion's lead as positions stood was down to five points, but to Rossi's relief there was a further twist in the tale of the race and the 'Doctor' firmly holds the initiative ahead of next week's second of three successive fly-away rounds at Phillip Island in Australia.

“It was very difficult I think, especially at the end because mentally it was a big stress to control the bike because the tyre gave up a lot and every time it became more difficult,” Rossi said.

“The start was good, in the first lap Jorge [Lorenzo] was stronger than me and was able to keep the gap – also because I don't feel at one hundred per-cent. I tried not to lose too much and I tried to follow him. After some laps the distance remained the same and it was a big motivation to try to stay with him because we are faster than all the other riders.

“In one moment the race changed a lot of times because the conditions dried up and I know that the race is very long. It is a lot better with full wets [on fully wet track] than the dry line because the wet tyres become too soft,” he added.

“When Dani [Pedrosa] arrived I was very worried because he can beat me but I don't know if he is able to go to Jorge, so losing another nine points like in Aragon is difficult for the championship; I tried to go with Dani because he had a good pace.

“I was able to do three or four laps quite strong and I arrived close to Jorge and in that moment we have some problems with the tyres and we are very much at the limit; maybe I had a little bit less [degradation] and I was able to keep the pace, so to take these 20 points is so important for the championship and four points more advantage is a good target.”

Rossi has too much experience to look beyond the next race in Australia and remains wary of the role that can be played in the title outcome primarily by Honda riders Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

“You have two Hondas, two Ducatis – maybe the Ducatis less – but the Hondas are always strong, Marc [Marquez] always but now Dani is in a great shape and in the last races he is very competitive,” he said.

“It's very difficult to think of three races – you have to think race by race; I love Phillip Island like a lot of riders, but it's always difficult to find the setting and also the conditions can be tricky: wind, cold, but it's a great track and we will try to give the maximum.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Japanese MotoGP 2015
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
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Lorenzo Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


October 11, 2015 9:07 AM
Last Edited 97 days ago

Doctor 46 is really the Doctorate in managing situations,, this race is either a tactical master class in saving rubber for final laps or unmatched skill in riding the dead rubber. "from 3.5s behind to 3.5s in front" One must have more than just out right pace to beat him consistently because he is always carrying with him the immense experience and bag full of tricks.


October 11, 2015 9:24 AM
Last Edited 107 days ago

A BIG step taken today towards winning the 2015 MotoGP World Championship and the 10th World Championship. This was a tense and stressful race. Vale started so well but then Jorge went by and started opening a gap, in the wet! 3 secs, and Dovi was also threatening for 2nd place. At this stage, it looked like a difficult situation. Vale started to stabilise the gap to Hohe, Dovi dropped off, BUT, Dani was setting the fastest laps, and got faster and faster. So, it looked even worse, like an Aragon situation, and possibly losing another 9 points to Jorge. But Valentino is Valentino and he shut-up Jorge in the best possible way, for all those disparaging, derogatory comments and disapproving gestures and posturing done by Jorge. Bravo Vale!

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.