MotoGP: Rossi celebrates 350th race with podium visit

Published: 10 April 2017

Valentino Rossi says that he felt even more pressure to succeed in yesterday’s Argentinian Grand Prix as he lined up for an incredible 350th Grand Prix start, a record that no one else even comes close to matching.

The Italian rode a strong race to second place, as well, powering through the field to set himself up to pass Cal Crutchlow for the place in the closing stages of the race.

“My mechanic, Brent, said to me on the grid “It‘s the 350th, try to make it a good race”. I‘m happy, because I was competitive today from the first to the last lap. I felt better physically and I trained hard so I felt good on the bike and I could push throughout the whole race. I feel that my concentration is good and also the battle with Cal was good also, because I was able to beat him.”

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However, while Sunday man Rossi made considerable improvements over his pace all weekend, there’s still one problem for him – an inability to touch super-fast teammate Maverick Viñales.

“Unfortunately, Maverick was a bit faster, but this result is really important for me and the whole team, a Yamaha 1-2 is great! I don‘t think the results would have been different if I‘d passed Cal earlier in the race. Looking at the lap times, Maverick was a bit stronger and that‘s just the way it is today.

“This track is always tricky, also in the past we saw a lot of problems. Bumps and slipperiness and it also rained yesterday, so you have to pay attention and you also have to be lucky. For us this is good, because we took some important points for the championship and I also felt really good with the bike today.”

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