Rossi "didn't have the speed to attack" for Qatar podium

Mar 20, 2016, 9:42 PM

Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi does not feel he had the pace to finish higher than fourth in the 2016 MotoGP season opener in Qatar.

After finishing a close fourth behind race winner teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez, Rossi admitted he gave all he had in the grand prix.

Asked if he could've pushed to the front earlier, Rossi said: "No, no, no. It's not [my] decision, unfortunately, not a mistake about strategy. It's because I don't have any more [pace] than this.

"I was strong but not enough to try one attack, to have one sector, one braking, one part where I was a little bit faster than the guys in front of me.

"I was always there, but always 10 meters [away] - trying like this, trying to stay behind, but unfortunately I don't have enough speed for attack. This was the problem.

Summing up his race, the seven-time premier class champion said: "They beat us, we are behind - but, anyway, we are strong."

Uncertain over tyre call

Both Rossi and third-placed Marquez picked the medium compound rear Michelin tyre for the race, while the two riders who ended up finishing ahead - Lorenzo and Dovizioso - had chosen softs.

And while Lorenzo said his tyre strategy was key to his victory, Rossi remains unsure whether he could've gone quicker by changing compounds.

"It is very important to understand the rear tyre choice - I don't know if with the soft I can be more competitive," Rossi said.

"Because me and Marquez with the hard, looks like we suffer a little bit more compared to Lorenzo and Dovizioso, no?

"But this is not sure. Maybe I put the soft and I go also slower."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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