Valentino Rossi had to settle for fourth position at today’s San Marino Grand Prix. The Italian, racing less than 10km from his home town of Tuvullia, finished fourth for the fourth consecutive race but having enjoyed a much strong weekend he saw a lot of positives from his home race:
“It’s a pity not to arrive on the podium because it was our target here especially at Misano with all the fans who come,” said Rossi. “It was a good weekend for me because I was always quite fast and could fight with the top three. Qualifying was very good and starting on the front row I expected to finish on the podium but it was very difficult because the top three guys are very strong.”
Early in the race Rossi fought with Dani Pedrosa for second before ultimately falling back from the Spaniard and into the clutches of Marc Marquez who overtook Rossi at half distance. With Pedrosa having struggled with a lack of rear tyre grip yesterday in qualifying Rossi had hoped that his rivals would suffer a repeat of those woes during the race:
“I hoped that Pedrosa would have some more problems because in practice he was not fantastic but in the race he was stronger and I tried to stay close to him after a good start but I lost a little bit because of Espargaro’s jump start but I was able to overtake him and stay close to the Honda’s. The first ten laps were OK but after that Dani was faster than me. Marc made a little mistake at the beginning but he had more pace than me and I tried to go with them but I made a little mistake braking into turn seven and I decided to slow down because I had already lost too much. We tried everything to get a podium but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
Even though the race marked another failure to finish on the rostrum it was clear all weekend that Rossi has made a step forward with the introduction of the Seemless Tranmission allowing the Yamaha to accelerate easier but Rossi is still struggling under braking and losing a lot of time compared to the Honda’s and his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo:
“This time was different [to other races] this weekend was more positive because of practice and qualifying. With these new settings we still have to work on the second half of the race because the Honda’s and Jorge are able to remain more consistent. My fastest lap in the race was one tenth from the fastest but they have an advantage in the race.
“I’ve said from the first time that the Seemless can help us in acceleration and make things easier for the rider. For me I’ve got more problems in the braking area compared to Jorge, and especially compared to the Honda’s, they can brake deeper than me. I said from the first time that we needed the Seemless because it helps us in acceleration but for us it’s more important to fix the braking.”