Rossi puts pressure on Marquez, Lorenzo looks to win

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Keen to dampen expectations for this weekend Valentino Rossi stressed that the Circuit of the Americas is more suited to the Honda’s than the Yamaha’s. Rossi’s season opening win in Qatar has set a high bar for the Italian this weekend and being able to downplay his potential was a clear tactic to place even more pressure on Marc Marquez after the champion’s mistake at the first corner in Qatar ruined his chances of winning.

“It’s difficult to say now because we have to understand if we improve the bike from last year,” said Rossi. “For sure the layout of the track is not the best for the M1 but this year the bike changed in a lot of ways and also the new gearbox can help reduce the gap on a track like this. We will see. Last year the two Hondas, and especially Marc, were a lot faster so we have to try to reduce the gap.”

Meanwhile Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, was keen to move past the “human error” that saw the lining of his helmet drop into his field of vision in Qatar. Lorenzo, who had his own human error last year in Texas when he jumped the start, is aiming for a win this weekend and while the gap to the Honda’s 12 months ago was large the improvements made by Yamaha since then have given Lorenzo confidence.

“We have to have a winning mentality as always. In the past also Motegi was very difficult to win and finally we got it,” said Lorenzo. “Obviously here in Austin the last years have been difficult, especially last year. But we have different tyres and a different bike. Yamaha is more competitive than one year ago, in 2013 I was really happy with my race, just two seconds from the winner. My goal is a similar performance or maybe better. Let’s see.”

Steve English

By Steve English