Valentino Rossi hails ‘strong and brave’ Marquez

Published: 17 June 2014

Valentino Rossi has heaped praise on runaway MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez after the Spaniard prevailed in a thrilling final lap battle for the third time in 2014 in Spain last Sunday.

After defeating Rossi in Qatar and Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo in Mugello in captivating last lap fights, Marquez held his nerve under intense pressure from Dani Pedrosa to win his home race at the Catalunya track.

Rossi finished second behind Marquez for the fourth time this season on Sunday and he said it was impressive again to see the 21-year-old Spanish sensation come out on top in another nail-biting climax.

Rossi, who is on the verge of signing a new contract with Yamaha, said: "Everybody has a different strategy on the last lap and the good part of Marc is that he reacts very fast to everything, including mistakes or problems. And he can understand very fast what is happening. For this reason he is very difficult to beat, but we are not so far."

Rossi said another impressive aspect of the seventh win of the season from Marquez was that it was clear Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was slightly faster in the decisive final laps.

But Marquez still found a way to claim the win after Pedrosa blew his own victory hopes by nudging the rear tyre of his teammate with just four corners remaining.

Rossi added: “Dani was a little bit faster but Marc won anyway, so this means in this moment he is a little bit unbeatable and has the situation under control. Marc is always very fast but this time in two or three points Pedrosa was a bit faster.

"But Marc is very strong and brave in the last laps and is very decisive with everybody, especially with Pedrosa yesterday (Sunday). For Marc to know this is very positive."