MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has admitted that it was “impossible” to beat the works Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on Sunday.
Rossi, 36, charged from sixth to second in the opening laps of the race, passing Pedrosa as well as Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, with whom he is duelling for the championship.
But Pedrosa was able to repass him later in the race, and Rossi was unable to stay with the Honda’s pace. He would finish third.
“This race for me was not perfect because I wasn’t able to stay with Dani,” admitted Rossi. “But I think that it was impossible. We knew we [would] suffer in this track, Honda came back in perfect shape.
“I did a very good race, I liked it. We took one hour this morning to decide which setting to take, because we wanted good braking for attack and it worked, because my bike was fantastic.
“I overtook people to get up to second, I pushed a lot. After Dani repassed me I pushed 110 per cent, because I wanted help from him to get away from Jorge.”
Championship remains tight
Rossi was pleased with another podium finish that extends his MotoGP championship lead over Lorenzo, but remains wary of the Marquez threat.
“I gained just three points, but it’s another podium and to finish in front of Jorge is always difficult,” he said. “This first half of the season has been very positive.”
When Rossi was told that the rider who leads the championship after the German GP has gone on to win the title 29 times, he replied: “I like this, I hope it is true!
“It’s very important [to be leading] because we’re already halfway through the season. We’ve had a lot of different races, a lot of different situations, and I’m in front.
“I’m 13 in front of Jorge and now I need to worry about Marquez, because he is 65 behind but if he continues to go like this it can be difficult.
“I think our R1 will be more competitive at the next track [Indianapolis].”