Valentino Rossi declared himself happy with his progress in recent races and after finishing third at Laguna Seca he was clearly in good spirits about his chances for the rest of the season.
Today’s race marked his third consecutive podium finish but perhaps the biggest difference for Rossi of late has been his ability to get closer to the limit in qualifying and therefore be better placed to race at the front.
Speaking after the race Rossi admitted that finishing third at Laguna Seca was more important than his similar result in Germany:
“This podium is a lot more important, and makes me a lot more happy, compared to Sachsenring,” said Rossi. “In Sachsenring I think I could have had a better performance but here we worked well as a team and faught for the race and the bike was OK. This track looks like we suffer a bit compared to Honda. We are a bit slower on the Yamaha and staying close to Bradl and aheda of Bautista is a good result. Also the distance to Marc was not a lot and with a better setting I could have gone with a good pace to the end.”
Rossi admitted that today was a challenge but he also complained about the lack of blue flags, used to indicate to lapped rider to let a faster rider past, during the race and said that this played a role in keeping his fight with Alvaro Bautista close.
“It was a long race, especially with Bautista behind. I had a lot of problems with slow riders and no blue flags and Alvaro came back to me but it’s my third podium in a row so I am happy. I am satisfied especially with the last four races. Firstly with the win at Assen but four podiums so far this year is good and in qualifying I have been able to get faster. To win we need to make another step with the bike but I’m happy.”