Valentino Rossi admits “I have a lot of responsibility” over Marco Bezzecchi

Valentino Rossi reacts to Marco Bezzecchi's first podium of the year

Francesco Bagnaia, Valentino Rossi, Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Spanish MotoGP, 28 April
Francesco Bagnaia, Valentino Rossi, Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Spanish…

Valentino Rossi has conceded his “responsibility” after convincing Marco Bezzecchi to stay at VR46.

Bezzecchi was reportedly offered the chance to swap a year-old Desmosedici at Rossi’s team for a factory-spec version at Pramac this season.

But he rejected the chance to instead stay put.

That decision had not been rewarded on-track until last weekend when Bezzecchi claimed a first podium of the season at the Spanish MotoGP.

"We are very happy for Bez,” said a jubilant Rossi to Sky Italia from inside the Jerez paddock.

“I feel like I have a lot of responsibility, because he chose to stay with us and race with the old bike, with which we had some problems.

“Marco has great potential and must continue to bring out those tenths from the bike like he did here in Jerez.

“It was beautiful, an important podium first of all for him, but also for the team."

Bezzecchi enjoyed a breakthrough year last season.

He won his first grand prix in the premier class - and his VR46 team’s - in Argentina.

Bezzecchi maintained a title challenge until the latter rounds when he struggled with an injury sustained during training.

After convincing Bezzecchi to stay, VR46 then lost Rossi’s brother Luca Marini to Repsol Honda.

Bezzecchi’s loyalty has not yet resulted in another standout year.

P6 in Portimao was the best he could muster before finishing behind Francesco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez in Jerez last week.

He had, until Jerez at least, found the GP23 much harder going than the GP22 that he used last year.

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