Valentino Rossi has signed off on his incredible 350th Grand Prix start by once again delivering one of his traditional Sunday miracles to turn a poor weekend of practice and qualifying at the Argentinian Grand Prix into a strong podium finish that helps establish him as a title contender.
Continuing to struggle with the problems that’s been plaguing him since he first jumped on the 2017-spec M1 machine, Rossi looked adrift during free practice, and even a salvaged seventh place on the grid didn’t look like it would be of much use to him in Sunday’s race.
Yet despite that, he was able to not only take second place behind teammate Maverick Viñales but to take the fight to Cal Crutchlow as well, setting himself up to snatch second place off the Brit in the closing stages of the race – and admit afterwards that even he’s not sure how he continues to manage it!
However, team boss Lin Jarvis, the man who has overseen four of Rossi’s nine world titles, was able to hit the nail on the head after the race, telling MCN that he believes it just comes naturally to the 38-year-old when the pressure is on.
“This weekend was even more troublesome than Qatar for him, yet step by step by step he got there. When it comes to the race, you’ve got to be on it, you’ve got to go for it, and it seems that when he forces himself and starts to force the bike it starts to work.
“It’s quite remarkable, but his race was incredible, and to have a double podium after the first two races considering the difficulty he seems to be in is quite remarkable.”