Ducati's Valentino Rossi took his second-ever podium for Ducati in the Le Mans MotoGP race today 12 months after he did his first, also at the French track, passing reigning champion Casey Stoner on the last lap as the Aussie ran out of grip.
The Doctor had to contend with a misting visor as he battled with Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso mid-race but then it cleared and he cleared off, chasing down the Repsol Honda man to pass and put 1.3s into the Aussie before the chequered flag came out.
All of the front-end problems Rossi encounters in the dry are negated when the track is wet as he is able to get the feel he needs through the wet tyres and more softly-setup suspension - something he can't replicate in the dry.
“I’m really, really happy. We knew we had a special opportunity in the wet today, so I tried to ride perfectly and not throw it away. I started well and immediately made up some positions, and then I passed the two Yamahas to get behind Stoner. I was able to match his pace, but then my visor started to fog and I had to slow down for a couple of laps until I was able to clear it by lifting it a little," said Rossi.
"Once I could see again, I re-passed Cal and then Dovi. When I realized that I could really push hard and that it was possible to catch Stoner again, I went for it. It was a great race and a nice, fun battle with Stoner to the last lap. I enjoyed myself and I’m happy for my team and all the guys at Ducati, who are working so hard for me. Now we must continue giving our all until we’re also able to be competitive in the dry. We found a good base to work from in Portugal, and it wasn’t bad in the dry here, either, although not as good as in the wet. Now our main goal is to take another step forward and make up some more tenths."