Rossi and Mar­quez go at it again

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Valentino Rossi has made a strong start to the sea­son af­ter a stel­lar per­for­mance in Ar­gentina. He made a sim­i­larly im­pres­sive start in 2015 and last week­end showed his ap­petite to win is still very much there.

Rossi was the only per­son able to stay with Marc Mar­quez for the first part of the two-part flag to flag race. And even a dis­ap­point­ing sec­ond half of the race didn’t di­min­ish the pos­i­tives he took from be­ing able to run at such a pace.

Rossi was ul­ti­mately left bit­terly dis­ap­pointed, though as he in­her­ited sec­ond place af­ter the two Du­catis crashed in front of him.

“It’s a shame be­cause in the first part I was a lot more com­pet­i­tive. I think that I could have had a very good fight for the win. With the sec­ond bike I did not feel good and could not set the same pace. I had big prob­lems with the rear tyre; I didn‘t have any feel­ing and couldn‘t stop un­der brak­ing.”

If the race had been run over the orig­i­nally sched­uled 22 laps and with­out a pit­stop he would have had a very good chance to taste glory.

With Yamaha’s abil­ity to stay strong on worn tyres, it’s not hard to imag­ine a re­peat of Rossi’s stun­ning charge to the front at the end of last year’s race in Ar­gentina.

Whether he can make amends next time out re­mains to be seen, but with Honda’s on-go­ing is­sues po­ten­tially set to pun­ish ti­tle leader Mar­quez at the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­cas this week­end, Rossi is clos­ing in and is firmly in the mix.

Mar­quez slipped up on Sun­day too – al­though not in the race! As he jumped onto the podium, he took an em­bar­rass­ing tum­ble! “Maybe I need to com­plain to race con­trol, be­cause there was noth­ing show­ing – not even the oil flag out! But if you’re go­ing to crash some­where, the top of the podium is a good place!”

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