Rossi: Qatar podium shows I'm not too old to keep racing

Valentino Rossi says his third-place finish in the Qatar MotoGP season opener has answered those who believe he is too old to sign a new two-year contract with Yamaha.

Rossi: Qatar podium shows I'm not too old to keep racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Rossi, 39, signed a fresh contract ahead of the Losail weekend that will keep him racing until the end of 2020, by which time he will be 41 years old.

After qualifying eighth, the seven-time premier class champion recovered to third in the race, finishing less than a second behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso and second-placed Marc Marquez. 

Rossi said the result proves he still has what it takes to cut it at the front of the MotoGP field, despite the increasing challenges of staying fit approaching his 40s.

"Honestly, these things don't interest me anymore," said the Italian. "I was already over it 10 years ago.

"But now when there is news like the renewal, it's right that there's someone who says I'm too old. The important thing, though, is what happens on track. I believe it, because I know I can go fast.

"The biggest problem when you get older is your physical condition, but I know if I train hard, more than 10 years ago, I can be fast to the end. 

"I feel so many things when I ride the bike and often they are the right things, so if I put everything together I can stay in front."

Rossi added that his podium was evidence that Yamaha had made a step forward after a troubled end to the 2017 season, when Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco was regularly outpacing the factory riders.

"We missed a little bit to fight for the win, but it was a good start to the championship," Rossi said. "Last year I got on the podium and I don't know how I did it. I expected it to be good this year.

"Last year both Honda and Ducati were having more trouble, but from the middle of 2017 they were really strong, so I think we have made a step forward.

"The first target this year is to not have races like Jerez and Barcelona last year where you go the whole weekend without understanding anything.

"We are behind in certain areas, but we can always try to be more competitive."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

shares
comments
Lorenzo "really lucky" to escape injury after brake failure

Previous article

Lorenzo "really lucky" to escape injury after brake failure

Next article

Five things we learned in the Qatar MotoGP opener

Five things we learned in the Qatar MotoGP opener
Load comments
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021