Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi scored his second straight runner-up finish with a thrilling performance at the Grand Prix of the Americas.
The 40-year-old matched the second-place result he recorded in Argentina to move into second in the championship standings, three points behind the leader.
“I’m very sorry for missing out on the victory, because when I saw [Marc] Márquez crash I said to myself ‘Maybe I can do it,’ but after that [Álex] Rins arrived,” Rossi said. “Sincerely, I pushed to the maximum, the race was very fast, I did one good lap after another, but in the end he was better than I was. I was riding very well, and I wasn’t able to overtake him.
“It’s a shame because I haven’t won for a long time, but we are strong, and we will try again next time. On a positive note, I tried everything today, I rode a very good race and stayed in front for a long time. Riding on the limit, unfortunately I made some mistakes. Maybe if had done everything perfectly I could have tried to attack on the last lap again. So, mixed feelings: on the one side, I’m sorry about the victory, and on the other side it’s a great result after a great weekend. I was strong and I rode a very good last lap, but I didn’t want to do anything too crazy because 20 points are very important for the championship, which is still very open. It looks like we are strong this year and that the bike has improved, and these are the most important things, because maybe we can fight at the front many times this season.”
Having to battle his way back after a ride-through penalty because of a jump start, Maverick Viñales finished 11th.
“I misunderstood the penalty a little, but anyway, besides the mistake, it was a good race weekend for us here,” Viñales said. “We showed a really good race pace and after the ride through I could easily ride in the 2’04s. This is just the way it is. We will have to try again in Jerez and be stronger there. I made a mistake at the start. I was starting really well all weekend, this afternoon I tried to do the same, but on the grid the bike got a bit hotter and the clutch engaged and the bike started running. It’s a shame, because I felt really good during the race. I already knew there was a chance that I would get a penalty, and that’s just the way it is. At first, I thought I had to do a long lap, but then I saw ‘ride through’ and thought ‘OK, I have to do this’. The good thing was that the bike was working really well. We had a good set-up for the race. We need to keep working and find the best system for the start. The start was actually good, as in that I didn’t lose any positions, and I tried to overtake some riders. Let’s see what happens at the next races.”
Next up on the MotoGP schedule is the Spanish Grand Prix on May 5.