Fourth was the best that Yamaha's Valentino Rossi could muster on his factory YZR-M1 at Jerez in Spain following an early race tussle with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

Rossi and Repsol Honda's Marquez locked horns as they disputed third place behind eventual race winner Dani Pedrosa and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, but the Italian dropped off the pace of the leading trio and crossed the line in a somewhat lonely fourth ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the Tech 3 M1.

Rossi who sits in fourth in the standings with 43 points, said he had 'expected to be faster' than the Honda riders in Spain.

"It was a difficult race. Unfortunately we were not able to be better, we suffered a bit with the conditions and we tried to do the maximum," he said.

"We improved the set-up for the race and we did a good start. I was with the top group but unfortunately I was not fast enough to stay with the top three. I had too much pushing at the front.

"Lap by lap the gap was bigger so I think we have a lot of work to do, especially because Lorenzo is faster than us," added Rossi.

"Also we have to work with Yamaha because here in Jerez I expected we could go faster than Honda but they arrived in front of us."

Rossi had been targeting a rostrum finish at Jerez but following the race weekend he is aiming to find some improvements with the M1 during Monday's test.

"We still have some work to do to improve the bike. Tomorrow we have the test and we'll try to find the right balance," he said.

"In the championship we are not very far from the top and we took some important points.

"I wanted to be on the podium but unfortunately it was not possible, we will try again in Le Mans. I like Le Mans, we were on the podium with the Ducati, but the weather can change a lot."



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