Valentino Rossi refuses to rule Marc Marquez out of this year’s MotoGP title battle, saying he expects the Spaniard to bounce back after a troubled outing at Le Mans.
That means Rossi now enjoys a 33-point advantage in the championship over the reigning champion, but the Yamaha rider warned during Sunday’s post-race press conference that he expects Marquez to be right back in contention next time out at Mugello.
“[Marquez] is a bit behind in the championship because he lost the 20 points in Argentina [after crashing out],” said Rossi.
“After the first three races they said Jorge [Lorenzo] was in crisis, and now he's won two races in a row. This can happen also to Marc.
“He's a two time world champion, and a rider with an incredible amount of talent, so he can arrive in Mugello and win without any surprise."
Yamaha better under braking
Rossi also explained that he believes Yamaha has successfully addressed one of its weaknesses from last season relative to Honda – its performance in the braking zones.
"Last year, Marc was much better than us under braking; he had a big advantage because he could control the Honda very deep [into the corner].
“We worked during the off-season, and it looks like our bike is better under braking, so we can use the advantage of our cornering speed without losing too much braking to Marquez."