Valentino Rossi missed his target of a podium finish in Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP, but insisted he was otherwise happy and feels he and Yamaha are 'growing up' every race.

After qualifying just seventh on the grid, Rossi gained two places at the start, then narrowly avoided another first lap incident with Alvaro Bautista (see separate story).

Rossi then took over fourth place when Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow slid out ahead of him, a position Rossi held to the finish.

"We wanted a podium. That was the target, but unfortunately I arrived fourth so we are not so happy about the position," he said.

"But apart from that it was quite a positive weekend for me and my team. I was fast and close to the top in practice, we still struggled a bit in qualifying, but in the race I did a very good start and stayed near the top group.

"Unfortunately I still haven't my good setting and balance for the bike. In the first part of the race with good rear grip and a full tank of fuel I am in trouble with the front. I am not able to enter the corners very fast because I have pushing and movement from the front, like we are a little bit out of balance.

"The leaders in that moment of the race are able to be faster than me, just by a few tenths a lap, half a tenth a sector, but they are faster. So we need to improve to fight with Crutchlow and especially the top three."

Once the fuel level had lowered Rossi was able to run at a similar pace to the leaders.

"I think that we are 'growing up' every race. If we compare with Jerez for example this race is a lot better. After six, seven or eight laps where I was [much] slower than the top three, after I can keep the same pace. I arrived 5.8s from Lorenzo who did a fantastic race and not so far from the Hondas.

"Now we to try to do more. We have some tests where we have to improve and find the right settings. So except from the podium, I am quite happy."

Rossi and factory Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo were expected to join Repsol Honda in missing Monday's Catalunya test session, then riding at Aragon on Tuesday and Wednesday. However there has been a change of plan.

"After the race we have revised the test plan, due to the weather forecast," said team director Massimo Meregalli. "After internal discussion we have decided to stay here at Catalunya tomorrow and to test at Aragon on Wednesday only. We will test a few things for the frame to try and improve it; let's see what we can prepare for Assen."

Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.



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