Valentino Rossi has admitted that Misano MotoGP winner Dani Pedrosa was too strong to match – but added that he was happy enough just to beat Marc Marquez.
The home town hero was disappointed not to be able to win in front of his ever-growing yellow army at his home round, but said he was happy to settle for second because he had still managed to cross the line ahead of his championship rival.
“We worked well on the bike and we were able to improve. We did the right tyre choice for the race. It was a good start and I tried to overtake Lorenzo, to go in front and after, I push, I pushed at the maximum and I understand that for sure it was not easy.”
While he had the pace to pass and subsequently gap his Movistar Yamaha team-mate, The Doctor was powerless to stop a charging Pedrosa catching him and passing him for the lead on the 22nd lap.
“I have the pace to stay there but not to go away. It was very difficult, very demanding physically and when you are in front it is always more difficult, but when I was able to ride well I could do a 1’32.2 when I was alone in front, alone, which was a very good pace.
“I saw that I can stay more or less with a one second advantage and I can control this pace. Lap by lap I was always more positive for the end.
“After a while Pedrosa was faster and I tried to resist, but he arrived with me with seven laps to go, which is still a long way. I lose a bit of time when he overtake me, and I tried to make another lap behind him at the maximum, but after it was not my pace. He was too strong, he was too fast.”
Settling for second, Rossi admits it would have been a great result had it been anywhere but his home round.
“Anyway, if I’m not in Misano, I’m for sure very happy, but today it was more important than other times to arrive first, and I wasn’t able at the end. But it was a great race and a very good weekend.”
But is pleased he managed to keep series leader Marquez behind him, and having closed the gap to 43 points he revealed that beating the Repsol Honda rider was always a bonus.
“It’s always a great feeling arriving in front of Marquez because he is very strong, very fast and if you are able to beat him in the race it means you did a great race. I’m happy about my second part of the season until now; unfortunately I don’t win but I did three podiums and I fought very close. I think we have to keep going like this to the end.”