MotoGP: Rossi has ‘an account to settle’ in Texas

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Valentino Rossi says that he’s got ‘an account to settle’ this weekend when the 2017 MotoGP series heads to Texas and the Circuit of the Americas, after a clutch problem caused an uncharacteristic fall from the battle for the lead for the Italian during last year’s race.

However, despite that, a strong start to 2017 means that he’s got a good foundation to build on at a track he admits to enjoying despite the damage done to his championship battle at the circuit in 2016.

“I'm happy to be in Texas. I really like Austin. The first two races of the season went well and I hope to improve the performance of the first days of free practice. We have much work to do, but I'm confident in my bike and in my team. Austin is a very difficult track and I love riding here.


“I have an account to settle with this track because last year in the warm-up I made a big step for a strong race but unfortunately I made a mistake. This year I want to try to have a good race. I also really like the atmosphere at the American circuit and I come to this place always very happily.”

And with both Rossi and teammate Maverick Viñales on a strong footing so far in 2017, team boss Massimo Meregalli has his sights set on a big target – the chance for Yamaha to take their 500th Grand Prix win this weekend.

“We now arrive in COTA, a great circuit to visit. The atmosphere here is always really good, and so is the support of the fans, so we are looking forward to begin the third round in Austin. The track lay-out is quite interesting and, though previously it didn‘t play to our advantage, we will start this race weekend in full-attack mode.

“We will use the first free practice sessions to understand how to make this race another great one for Yamaha, as we strive for the 500th victory. Our riders are both in great form and both enjoy the Grand Prix of the Americas. We are looking to get some strong results again and can‘t wait to get started!”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer