Rossi targets podium, doubts Marquez can be beaten

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was not overly optimistic on his chances of challenging for victory in the Aragon Grand Prix, as he conceded beating Marc Marquez will be "very difficult".

Rossi targets podium, doubts Marquez can be beaten
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Marquez thoroughly dominated qualifying for the Aragon GP, while Rossi could only take sixth on the grid.

"I'm not happy to start from sixth place, for sure," Rossi conceded.

"It's still on the second row, but I wasn't good enough to make the good lap. I think I can do better. But it's like this.

"We have to wait, to see the condition of tomorrow, decide the right tyres and try to make a good race. I think that our target is to arrive on the podium, to fight for the podium."

Asked whether he could match Marquez's pace in the race, Rossi said: "At this moment, it's very difficult, because Marquez is very strong.

"He's the guy who has clearly the best pace and he starts also on pole position.

"For me, tomorrow, we have to concentrate to make the best and fight for all the race to try to arrive on the podium. I think to beat Marquez will be very difficult."

Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who secured a front row spot with a last-gasp lap, thinks that challenging Marquez isn't out of the question.

"Well, for sure, it's difficult, till now he looks like he has one step or even two compared to the others," Lorenzo said.

"But as in 2014, I was in the worst scenario in the year in qualifying and practice, and I won the race. It was a strange race with the flag-to-flag and it rained and it gave me the chance to win that maybe in the dry conditions I wouldn't have had.

"But in MotoGP, especially this year, everything is possible, so I will go there and try my best. If I'm ready to finish fourth, I will fight for fourth, or third, or second, or even victory. You never know."

Rossi "lucky" to avoid injury

Rossi's Saturday track time was punctuated by a heavy crash in free practice 3, the Italian getting launched off his bike in the corkscrew Turn 9 on his out-lap.

"I'm very lucky and I have to say thank you to Dainese for my airbag that saved my shoulder," Rossi said, confirming that he was unhurt in the crash.

"That type of crash is quite dangerous - because you don't expect, you go quite slow, and so I crashed quite heavy on the shoulder."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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