With two MotoGP second place finishes so far this year (Qatar, Jerez), The Doctor seems to be a likely candidate to take the top podium spot away from Marc Marquez, who has not only won all four GPs so far this year, but has also qualified number one on each of those grids.
Heading into the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans circuit this coming weekend, Valentino Rossi is keen to put last year’s difficult race at the French race behind him, after finishing the 2013 contest in 12th place.
The Italian has had nine podium finishes in the premier class at Le Mans, including three victories. Indeed those wins each came on different machinery – in 2002 riding a Honda, 2005 riding the 990cc Yamaha and in 2008 on Yamaha’s 800cc bike.
For 2014, Rossi will be looking to make best use of his current prototype and the new chassis for the hard braking areas of the layout and to return to the podium at the classic French track.
After his second place finish in Spain, Rossi said, “I am very happy about the weekend in Jerez, unfortunately I wasn’t able to win over (Marc) Marquez but I managed to win over (Dani) Pedrosa and Jorge (Lorenzo). I am also happy about the test done on the following Monday at the same track. During the test I continued to work on the new chassis and I like it, it helps me especially with the front tire.”
“At Le Mans I will have only one new chassis but I am confident that Yamaha will bring me the second chassis as soon as possible. I want to continue the work on this. I made good times during the test, even the “time attack” was good and so I will try to start from the front row at Le Mans. It’s a positive moment for me because I’m pretty fast, I work well in the box and I think we can be very optimistic. We can have a good race.”