Yamaha boss: Rossi riding better than last title win in 2009

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Valentino Rossi is riding better than he did at Yamaha when winning his last MotoGP world championship in 2009.

That’s the view of Yamaha boss Kouichi Tsuji, who was full of admiration for the Italian after he returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion in Misano earlier this month.

Tsuji said Rossi’s 2014 form has exceeded his expectations and he told MCN: “He has been very motivated and he has reached a much higher performance than we expected, even though we still believed he could win.

"It is not very easy at 35 for him to change his style. We have to appreciate his effort to change and adapt even after so many years and be much more like the modern style of (Marc) Marquez.

"It is incredibly difficult when you have ridden in one way to adjust but he understood this was the only way to catch his rivals. There is no doubt he is a better rider than he ever was, but it is just the competition is much stronger.”

Rossi’s win in front of a passionate home crowd in Misano created history, with his winning career in the world championship now spanning over a record 18-year period.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt