Valentino Rossi accepts he will have his work cut out replicating his sensational Qatar GP victory at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend. The championship leader hasn’t fared well on his two previous visits to Texas and with his Yamaha YZR-M1 likely to be outgunned on the long straights found in the middle sectors at COTA, Rossi is bracing himself for another dogfight.
“Beginning the championship with a victory is really nice, but now we must try to be just as competitive as we were in Qatar everywhere else. Austin is not our favourite track. Although the track is very modern and I really like some corners, the two long straights are weak points for us. Our opponents are strong, but it‘s also true that our bike has made major improvements. I‘m happy with my feelings on the YZR-M1. We will work hard to find the best possible solution, as we did at Losail. After the victory in Qatar we are all very motivated and we are ready for another weekend. I would like to get on the podium. It won‘t be easy, but we will try!”
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo was denied a shot at victory in Qatar when the protective foam inside his crash helmet started to come loose but the Spaniard doesn’t want to dwell on that misfortune. Although he agrees with Rossi that COTA won’t suit the strengths of the Yamaha, Jorge is also relishing the challenge.
“Qatar is in the past and we thought our result would be better, but now I‘m just focusing on next race in Austin. I look forward to racing there once again, even if usually it‘s not a track that suits our bike. In the past I was able to get on the podium so I want to do my best in Texas and try to keep as focused as I was in Qatar. I‘m eager to race as soon as possible because I feel very fit and mentally strong. Hopefully we can do a better job than last year because both me and the bike have improved and maybe also the new tyres give us a chance to fight for the race. From my side, I‘m going to push at the maximum.”