Rossi knew podium chance was on after warm-up

Valentino Rossi says he knew he would have a good chance of a podium finish in the Australian Grand Prix after morning warm-up, despite having to start 15th.

Rossi knew podium chance was on after warm-up
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

After a disastrous Saturday in mixed conditions resulted in the Italian’s worst qualifying showing since 2011, Rossi was immediately on the pace in Sunday morning’s warm-up, setting the second best time.

That laid the foundation for a strong race performance, as Rossi quickly moved up the order, settling into second place once leader Marc Marquez crashed out on lap 10.

While he had no answer to the victorious Cal Crutchlow, Rossi said his warm-up pace gave him belief that a podium finish was in reach in spite of his lowly grid slot.

“The warm-up give an optimistic feeling, because I know that I have the pace,” recalled Rossi.

“I just tried to stay concentrated, focus on the target, and remember the race is very long. I knew I had the pace to arrive on the podium.

“After I arrive behind Cal, and when I saw Marquez crash, I thought that I can win, but unfortunately he was too fast, too strong. He is always very fast at Phillip Island, and for me the second half of the race was more difficult.”

Asked if he made any changes to the bike between warm-up and the race, Rossi added: “We didn’t change anything from the warm-up.

“We tested what we had to test on Friday morning, because at this track we tested with the Michelin tyres in February. The situation was clearer, we had the data, and we knew the bike can be strong.”

Having crashed out at Motegi, where he lost any remaining hopes of the title, Rossi said finishing second in Phillip Island was the “perfect” response.

“It’s a shame because in Japan we could have done another good race, but this is the perfect way to forget,” said the 37-year-old.

“Now it’s very important to try and do it like this: fight always for the podium and arrive at the end of the championship.

"We need to be strong in the last two races, make a race like today.”

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