Valentino Rossi's hopes of a podium or even victory challenge in the Malaysian MotoGP were washed away by a pre-race rain storm.

The Italian initially remained cautiously optimistic, only to strike the same chronic rear-grip problems that had ended in a highside at Motegi two weekends' ago.

"You know, I was worried but not desperate [when I saw the rain] because Friday in the wet I had some problems, but I was sixth and sincerely we modify the bike a lot since then and I was optimistic it would work," said Rossi.

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"But unfortunately I had exactly the same problem as Friday. We don’t have any grip. It is very difficult to ride the bike, also very dangerous, and you have the clear feeling that if you try a little bit more you crash. Like I did in Motegi."

This time the Movistar Yamaha rider reached the finish, spending the early laps fighting with the KTMs in eleventh before gathering late pace to cross the line in seventh, 30-seconds from the winning Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso.

The Doctor set his best lap of the race on lap 19 of 20, later than all but Cal Crutchlow.

"It's quite frustrating because it looks like in the first 10-12 laps I always have the same pace. I wasn't able to improve. So this bike in the wet is very difficult to ride. Is impossible. We don’t have grip. And already to go like this, you risk very much," Rossi explained.

"It's a shame because we need a good result to confirm [the podium in] Phillip Island. And I think that in the dry I was competitive - all the weekend I was quite strong. So I could do a good race I think.

"Unfortunately it rained, but you have to be ready in all the conditions. I hoped to do a step compared to Motegi. But in reality, no. So it remains very difficult, this bike."

Meanwhile, Tech 3 Yamaha's star rookie Johann Zarco finished on the podium for the second time this season with the rain-tolerant 2016 M1, also choosing the soft rather than medium rear tyre.

"For me, for Zarco it is a lot better if he continues to keep his bike next year! I say this for him!" Rossi joked.

Rossi's factory team-mate Maverick Vinales finished in ninth place, suffering the same rain issues as the #46.

Vinales is now confirmed as finishing third in the 2017 standings, with Rossi holding a 12-point lead over Dani Pedrosa for fourth place heading into next month's Valencia finale.

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cry cry cry.

rossi said before the race, he feels well in wet conditions and is competetive. suddenly after the race the bike is impossible to ride in wet conditions? very strange. maybe its just him being too slow and not risking enough.

Zarco embarrassed rossi and vinales again. 20sec. faster than "i can still keep up with the young guys" rossi. 

@UCCIO IS STILL ...

Whats with the Rossi hate huh ? Cant u see Zarco & Rossi are on different bikes & the fact that Rossi is the one saying 2016 M1 is better than the 2017 M1 in the wet from the start of the season & thats exactly what Zarco is proving.

you, Sennaftw, dickless, dickbird & few other people are parasites on this site with blind Rossi hate. I cant imagine the reason for that.

 

Zaber, personae dramatis you named , when wakes up ,hates only himself,in the afternoon they hate all population of village they lived in.

But they are just annoying only,like shit flees! So do not bother!

In addition to VR haters: sepang 2016  in much worst condition with rain also Rossi finished scnd 42,30.448 JL 3rd 42,39.257 Zarco on JLs bike did this year 45,01.235.Folger missing on VR bike and he is much better than Zarco on rain.

So Yamaha is back in 2003 again!

That's good coming from one of you guys... Whenever anyone else struggles with bike issues you're always first to pounce on them and call for retirement, you and a few others, particularly V46R...

When you read Valentino and Maverick words after the race, they both had same issue, but Vinales is in some kind of mode, that it was smth strange, beacause he was fast in some free practice and everything depends on settings, while Valentino is sure, that there is smth wrong with this bike in general.  I wonder what bike they will get for next season and if Yamaha engeniers will listen Valentino more than last year. I hope that they will.... 

Get a grip and don’t mix up everything; That was 2016‘s bike. Imagine JL on the 2017 yamaha...

Yeah the 2016 bike which had Jorge's input... take Jorge away and you have the 2017 bike.

It's funny how in all conditions and at every pre-season session the M1 with Vinales was top of the sheets and he won 3 of the first 5 races. Then when they swapped out the chassis at Rossi's request both riders struggled apart from Rossi's Assen win. 1 win isn't enough when you're fighting for a title, especially when your team mate had already won 3 and was leading the title, Yamaha threw it away.

I dont agree with your sentiments at all, & yes i am a Rossi fan!

But one comment that you do make, if correct, is worth looking into in more depth. This being the comment about the chassis swap - was it just VR's view that it was better? Did Vinales agree or not have a say?. If Maverick didnt have a say in the matter, then that does potentially put a different perspective on the situation.

sorry wrong link...:-)

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