Valentino Rossi unhappy with gap to podium

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 27 August 2013 10:42

Valentino Rossi admitted improvements must come from himself and Yamaha after he was unable to pose a serious podium threat in yesterday’s Czech Republic MotoGP clash.

The Italian finished a distant fourth behind dominant Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo after getting the better of Gresini Honda Alvaro Bautista.

Worringly for the 34-year-old was the big gap to Repsol Honda star Marquez, who romped to a fourth straight win in brilliant fashion to increase his title advantage to 26-points over teammate Pedrosa heading to this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Rossi was 10 seconds adrift at the conclusion of a 22-lap race that clearly showed the current technical superiority of the Honda RC213V over Rossi and Lorenzo’s YZR-M1.

Lorenzo gamely kept himself in the hunt for victory until the final laps when Marquez and Pedrosa turned the screw, and the reigning world champion was still close to eight seconds clear of Rossi.

Rossi, who was also fourth and behind the same three at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway a week earlier, said: “The weekend was a lot better than Indy but the target was to stay closer to the top three.

"We tried a lot of things and the race was quite good. But I am not satisfied about the gap to the top three, who did a fantastic job.

"From the start they are very strong and in the last two races we have tried to work on the setting to improve my problems in braking but we suffer too much with this type of setting and we have to continue to work.

"The top three at the beginning of the race make a big difference. I hoped that Cal (Crutchlow) and Alvaro could stay in front of them for the first laps but unfortunately Marc, Dani and Jorge was in the top three and Cal and Alvaro only just in front of me.

"I suffer a bit in the first laps, not like in Indy, but I wasn’t very strong and in the second part of the race I was not so bad. But the top three had a better pace. I can arrive in fourth but I am not happy about the gap that is 10 seconds to the Honda.

"The technical side is not fantastic for Yamaha and now we have to work because now the two factory Hondas are very strong. Jorge did a fantastic job and he tried the maximum to stay in front but in the end he had to give up.

"Jorge was seven seconds in front of me and I wanted to be closer and I have to be stronger.”

Rossi said new upgrades from Yamaha would inevitably help him be more competitive in the final third of the season but he too had to work on being stronger on the YZR-M1.

He added: “We need new parts and also to follow another way with the setting. We try to modify the bike to help with the problem in braking and I am better but still not fast enough. Yamaha is working very hard and for sure they don’t like to arrive behind the Honda.

"They are working on a lot of things to improve as well as the gearbox. We suffer a bit when we open the throttle and our bike in general is very good but the other guys have something more, so we have to work.”

For more new and views from Brno and a 16-page guide to this Sunday's big Silverstone race, see the August 28 issue of MCN.