Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Valentino Rossi was left dis­heart­ened at the Aus­trian Grand Prix af­ter miss­ing out on his tar­get for the week­end - the podium suc­cess that he took for the first ever time at the track back in 1996.

Bat­tling, like ev­ery­one else on the grid, to match the fe­ro­cious ac­cel­er­a­tion of the dom­i­nant Ducatis, Rossi said af­ter­wards that his tar­get for the week­end was the fi­nal podium spot.

But, strug­gling to make the Mo­vis­tar Yamaha be­have the way he wanted it to – an is­sue com­pounded by Sun­day’s in­creas­ing tem­per­a­tures – he was forced to set­tle for fourth.

“In the race, we tried to help the rear tyre get to the end, and to do that we changed the bal­ance of the bike. I was a bit in trou­ble brak­ing with it, be­cause the front locked. I tried to over­take with it, but I was run­ning on and it was a risk. Run­ning be­hind three bikes meant I was hav­ing a prob­lem with the tem­per­a­ture of my brakes as well. It’s a shame be­cause I wanted to fight with my team-mate, but the gap was al­ways a bit too much.

“I was just three sec­onds away from vic­tory and not that far from the Ducatis – but the great shame was that Lorenzo fin­ished in front of me. He was faster and he was able to put the Yamaha on the podium.”

But while the week­end might not have de­liv­ered the re­sult that Rossi wanted, it wasn’t a com­plete dis­as­ter. Fin­ish­ing ahead of ti­tle leader Marc Mar­quez for the first time since the Barcelona round two races ago, it gave him the chance to at least make small in­roads into the Spa­niard’s lead.

“I am happy be­cause we re­cov­ered two points, and if we have a hun­dred races now I can win the cham­pi­onship! Jok­ing aside, it’s good to ar­rive in front of Marc though, and while the sit­u­a­tion will change at other tracks we have to stay strong and be as fast as pos­si­ble.”

Rossi wasn’t able to find the set­ting he was af­ter to put his M1 on the podium

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