Valentino Rossi concedes that his long winless streak is ‘bad news’ as the Movistar Yamaha rider looks ahead to the scene of his last MotoGP victory at Assen in less than two weeks’ time.

Rossi finished on the podium at Catalunya in third place to retain second place in the championship, 27 points behind Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

The Italian rider hasn’t won since Assen a year ago but Rossi says the upcoming Dutch round of the series does not guarantee a turnaround in fortunes despite his excellent record at the Cathedral.

“It is bad news for me and also Yamaha that it is already one year without a Yamaha win,” he said.

“I love Assen like Barcelona, or Mugello or Phillip Island – we don’t have to expect at one race track to try to win because at Assen we have something magic. It’s just that I like the track, I usually ride well and the Yamaha works well.

“For sure this year it will be very hard as always but I hope also to have some other chance to fight for the victory before the end of the season,” added Rossi.

“Assen is a great place but from one year to the other it is always different and you never know until Friday. Tomorrow we have the test and we have something to try, nothing great, but we are optimistic and we will try to make a small step.”

Rossi said he feels he is losing out on acceleration in particular to the Honda and Ducatis, although he also believes the Yamaha could also improve in other areas.

“It is not just one thing, I’m sure that we have to work in acceleration because when I follow the Ducati, the Honda, it looks like in acceleration the engine and also the electronics system works very well to give a lot of power without spin,” he said.

“For me, this is the biggest area but it is not just that – also because Yamaha work on weight distribution and the chassis because they trust a lot in that, so I think it is both.”

Assessing his performance in the race, the 39-year-old was happy to be on the rostrum after struggling at Catalunya last year.

“I’m happy for this podium because in this track last year we struggled very much and it was one of the worst races of the season.

“I know after the practice that the two Ducatis and Marquez are faster than me and I think that I have to fight more with the second group like in Mugello, because more or less the pace was like that.

“But this morning in the warm-up we improved the balance of the bike and I was able to turn in a better way and also I was very worried about the soft front, but in reality in the beginning of the race – yes we had to manage – but after the tyre worked well and provided good grip,” he added.

“I am also happy because my pace was good to the end and I was not too far to Jorge and Marc, but unfortunately it was not enough to try to stay with them and fight but anyway it is good and also important points for the championship.”