Valentino Rossi aims for consistent podium challenge in 2014

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Valentino Rossi has targeted a fight for the podium in every race in 2014 after unveiling the new livery of this year’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1 in Indonesia earlier today.

Rossi’s much anticipated return to Yamaha last season yielded one victory in Assen but for large parts of the campaign he was in the shadow of dominant Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi finished fourth in eight races last season and finished in the same position in the final championship rankings and speaking in Jakarta today, Rossi said he expected to do much better in a 2014 season that kicks off in Qatar on March 23.

The Italian, who turns 35 next month, said: “The expectations for the coming season are very high. My target is to try and do better than last year, be more competitive and fight for the podium every weekend. I am sure our bike will be very competitive again. It was already very good last year and Yamaha engineers were able to develop it further through the season therefore I expect a lot from my new M1 and I am sure it will get even better during the season."

Rossi returns to track action after the winter testing ban with a three-day test session at the Sepang track in Malaysia that kicks off on February 4.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt