Valentino Rossi believes it was crucial to regain the mental edge in his championship battle with Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo in the last two MotoGP races.
The 36-year-old held the upper hand over Lorenzo at Assen and at the Sachsenring, ending a four-race winning streak for the Spaniard with his third win of the season at the former.
Rossi now holds an advantage of 13 points heading into the summer break, although he reckons that the psychological boost gained from stemming the tide of Lorenzo’s dominance is just as pivotal as the cushion he has created for himself in the championship.
Although I only gained three points [on Lorenzo], it’s important in the psychological battle.
“I think it was crucial to get one over Jorge in these last two races, because he had four weekends when he dominated and recovered a lot of points,” said the seven-time champion.
“My recovery started in Barcelona, where we worked differently and there I got, in inverted commas, a bit scared because we only made up half a second.
“We got there before Assen and here [at the Sachsenring], and although I only gained three points, it’s important in the psychological battle.
“Jorge is very strong this year, he did four perfect races, so it's important to make him sweat, because he has to understand that it will not be easy.”
Marquez not be underestimated
Rossi added that he expects the title chase to go all the way to the final round, and that it’s too soon to discount Marc Marquez, who lies 65 points adrift in the standings, from the title chase.
“I think it will be a battle that will continue until the last race, but we must not make the mistake of underestimating Marquez,” said the Italian.
“Although he is now far away [in the championship], I think he can recover.”