Marquez says Rossi stronger now than in 2015

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Marquez says Rossi stronger now than in 2015
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Jun 5, 2016, 3:39 PM

Valentino Rossi's rival Marc Marquez says the seven-time world champion is currently in better form than when he came close to winning the MotoGP title last year.

Podium: second place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, race winner Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, third place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Race winner Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, practice start
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Having been outduelled by Rossi for victory in the Catalan Grand Prix, points leader Marquez conceded that the Italian rider was now riding the best since he stepped up to join the premier class in 2013.

Said Marquez: "He's in a moment that, since I'm here in MotoGP, it's his strongest moment.

"Last year he was strong but this year he's stronger, he has the pace. We will be careful with him, he has a really good level."

Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa, however, believes that Rossi right now, while quick, was not as consistent as he had been a few seasons back.

"I think he's doing super now," Pedrosa said, "especially regarding that you have to keep the motivation up and have to keep the power going on, year by year. This makes things always more difficult.

"But when I race against him in 2008 or '09, he was very strong every weekend. Now a bit different - can be some days fast, some days not that fast."

"Stronger, but fewer points"

Rossi himself confirmed that he felt he was doing better this year than in 2015, and highlighted his gains in race pace compared to Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

"The important thing is [being] strong and fast Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock," Rossi said. "This is what I've thought all my career.

"Last year I fight for the championship to the last race, but sometimes in the race I wasn't fast like Lorenzo and Marquez. This year looks like I'm stronger, even if I have fewer points.

"It's a good moment. I like my bike, the Yamaha is very competitive, I like a lot the Michelin tyre - it's something I used a lot when I was growing up as a rider. It's something very familiar.

"I think this championship every race becomes more open, more difficult to understand and more interesting, because I think we are there at the same level - Marquez and Lorenzo, but also Pedrosa, Vinales and Iannone are very strong."

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