With back-to-back runner-up finishes in Argentina and the United States, Valentino Rossi is looking to continue his strong form when the European leg of the MotoGP season begins with the Gran Premio de España.
Rossi, who is second in the championship standings and just three points back of leader Andrea Dovizioso, has found plenty of success at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto in his career. He has won seven times at the circuit, most recently in 2016, and secured five additional podium finishes in the premier class.
“I love racing in Europe because the tracks are fantastic, and I know them very well,” Rossi said. “We start at Jerez, which has been a difficult track for the Yamaha in the last two years, but we did well at the last two races, so it will be very interesting to see if we can be strong there.
“We have had a little break and from now on it’s ‘bam, bam, bam,’ a very packed schedule until the race at the Sachsenring. We’re good, strong, and we are working well. It looks like the bike improved a lot. For sure, there are some areas that we need to work on. We need some time for that, but we can be competitive.”
Maverick Viñales, who scored a Moto3 victory at Jerez in 2013, is hoping for his first podium of the season.
“I’m happy because finally we arrive to the European rounds,” Viñales said. “In Austin, despite the problems we encountered, I felt very good riding my bike and I had a very good race pace. We’ve had some difficulties in Jerez in the past, but I think that we’ve made good steps lately, so potentially we could be arriving at a very good track for the Yamaha. I hope to be fighting for the podium from the start of the race. We are going to work very hard all week to make it happen.”