Valentino Rossi says set-up switches to improve the balance and corner speed of his Movistar Yamaha paved the way for his MotoGP podium charge at Sachsenring, but has warned the same issues still remain.

The Italian rider produced an eye-catching start to move up to fourth behind Marc Marquez having started sixth on the grid and despite struggling to match the Repsol Honda’s supreme pace at the German circuit he followed his title rival past both Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo to take second place.

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Rossi says he was surprised not to see the two factory Ducati riders pose a greater challenge to both him and Marquez but vital balance tweaks boosted his charge having ended Friday practice an unrepresentative 17th place.

Calling it his best race and result of 2018 so far, Rossi was content to take second place as damage limitation to Marquez’s domination at Sachsenring with nine consecutive race wins, but warns if he is to make significant gains Yamaha needs to resolve its electronic-related acceleration problem which it hass suffered with for almost 12 months.

“In the first two or three laps I felt very comfortable and I know that I can push and can attack,” Rossi said. “I wanted to try to overtake Marc but unfortunately I was strong but it wasn’t enough.

“I was already in the right place and it was good because I was in the first group just behind Marc and Jorge was in front but not like always where he goes ahead. This is my strategy and if I could do I would try to overtake but it was not enough.

“We found something especially with the balance of the bike that means we can ride in a better way.

“In fact, me and Maverick are stronger and we are second and third in the championship but we need some small help from Japan to improve the electronics system under acceleration. The season is so long so I push with all my force and I hope for help from Japan.”

Having secured a double podium for the factory Yamaha squad, emulating former Tech3 Yamaha rider Jonas Folger’s second place rostrum at the German track from 12 months ago, Rossi felt Yamaha’s corner speeds combated against the superior acceleration his Ducati rivals possess which is neutralised by the lack of straights at Sachsenring.

“Compared to the Ducati our bike, this year’s [Yamaha] bike is a lot better in the corners and we can go faster than them,” he said. “They have an impressive advantage in acceleration but at a track like this it is not enough.

“I studied everything of Folger, all the race, all the lines and which way he raced the bike, which way he set-up the bike. Everything. I think it was a good help for me from Folger last year so we have to give him the trophy!”

Rossi remains second in the standings and is now 46 points behind Marquez in the MotoGP world championship heading into the summer break.

Yamaha’s electronics updates are expected to arrive at the post-race test in Brno, with the Czech Republic circuit hosting the first race after the two-week summer break in August.

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