Sitting in third place in the championship standings following a runner-up finish last time out, Valentino Rossi leads the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team into Austin, Texas, for a challenging test at the Circuit of the Americas.
“It was a great emotion to stand on the podium again in Argentina, after such a long wait for me, the team, and also the fans,” Rossi said. “But now we need to focus on the next Grand Prix. We know that Austin is a tricky track. Maybe it‘s the most difficult and technical track of the MotoGP season, but in the previous years it wasn‘t so bad for me.”
Rossi has reached the podium at COTA twice since the track joined the MotoGP schedule in 2013.
“In the last few years I felt good, and though I didn‘t arrive on the podium last year, I did in 2017,” Rossi continued. “So, we have to do it like we did then: work well, ride well, follow the right direction, and then we‘ll see.”
Despite a crash in Argentina, Maverick Viñales is ready for the challenge at COTA. The 24-year-old will look to put that unfortunate result behind him when he visits a track where he has found success in the past, including a Moto2 victory and a second-place finish last year.
“The first thing I want to say is that I arrive in Austin in a good physical condition after the crash in Argentina, and that is the most important thing,” Viñales said. “Luckily, I didn‘t hurt myself and I can say that I‘ll start the third round of the calendar with full strength.
“Austin is a track that I really like and where I‘ve always felt very good on the bike. I have very good memories of the Circuit of the Americas, so I‘m going to try to enjoy the Grand Prix as much as I can. We will try to change the small things we‘ve found at the last round in order to be able reach the podium, that is our main goal. We have to give our 100% to lose no more points and move upwards in the classification.”