Rossi ends podium drought with Argentina runner-up

Premier class veteran charges to second at round two.

Image: Supplied.

Multi-time world champion Valentino Rossi has ended a podium drought that extended to the Sachsenring grand prix in July 2018 after securing second at round two of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Argentina.

Starting on the second row from P4, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider put on an exceptional display, dicing with round one winner Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) right to the flag, narrowly edging out the fellow Italian.

After a difficult end to his 2018 campaign, Rossi’s podium at the Termas de Rio Hondo venue has offered the number 46 a considerable amount of satisfaction, stating the result is important for not only himself, but also the factory Yamaha team.

“It’s been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I’ve been on the podium,” Rossi explained. “This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes.

“Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period. I’m so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more.

“Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even one centimetre, else Dovi would pass me again.

“At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I’m happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking.”

Rossi now sits third in the series rankings, while reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) controls the classification as MotoGP heads to Circuit of the Americas on 14 April.


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