Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi made up for a ‘bad’ start to finish second in the MotoGP race at Le Mans, and has closed the gap on rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez in the overall championship standings.
The multiple-champ started from the third row and had to battle his way through the pack, but he did benefit from crashes from Marquez, and the two Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Iannone, as with them out of contention he was able to concentrate on trying to catch Lorenzo and not worry about an attack from behind.
Rossi felt that if he had a better start he could have got even closer to team-mate Lorenzo, who took the spoils in spectacular fashion and ended the race with a ten second advantage over the Italian this afternoon.
But the M1 rider is happy that he bagged twenty points which keeps him in contention for the title, and he had a good feeling with the bike, and kept a solid pace throughout the 28-lapper.
“The start was bad, last year I started from the third row, but my start was very good - but today no. At the beginning it was very complicated but when you start from the third row you have to fight but I had a good pace and I had a good feeling with the bike and arriving second was very good,” said Rossi at the circuit.
“Twenty points are very important as we are close to third position in the championship. We worked well and the bike is faster and I think we are in good shape. I think we have to be like we were in Jerez.
“When you start from the third row and you arrive second is always great, especially today as these twenty points are so important for the championship, as we are able to close the gap with the top that’s changes from Marquez to Lorenzo.
“When you start from the third row you need to fight. I was able to go away from the second group and I did some good laps but that situation was tricky, maybe because of the tyres from the Moto2 race so I concentrated on riding well and my bike was well balanced. I tried to overtake as soon as possible and I did some good laps and then Marquez and Dovi made a mistake and I was able to be a little bit more relaxed in the second part of the race.”