Valentino Rossi has conceded that his bid to win an eighth premier class world championship in 2016 is now all but over. The salvage job required to close the current 53-point deficit over the remaining seven races appears too much, and Valentino Rossi admits that his unforgiving rival Marc Marquez is now on target for the MotoGP title.
Even after finishing a strong second and edging Marc Marquez to third at the Czech Grand-Prix, Valentino Rossi admits that his primary job now is the fight for second place against his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo. ‘No, seven races is not enough because I have made too many mistakes and also been a little unlucky so far,’ said Valentino Rossi of the points gap. ‘And this year Marc Marquez is fast in all conditions and always makes the right choice, so it is very difficult to recover 53 points.
‘There are seven races in which I can be strong but for sure it is very difficult.
The fight with Jorge Lorenzo for second place is very open and it was very important to gain points on him in Brno. Jorge Lorenzo is very fast; he always tries to win. So I think the fight is with him, even if it is for second place. Valentino Rossi has been stung by a trio of costly errors and zero points in Texas and Assen, plus an engine blow-up in Mugello.
Marc Marquez has been off the podium just twice in 11 races with three wins to Valentino Rossi’s two wins. But Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP’s most successful rider over the past seven years, counters that retaining his 2015 title, not finishing second, remains his primary ambition.
‘I want to be champion. I’m proud to say that in the last seven years I’ve been first or second in the championship and third in 2014,’ said Jorge Lorenzo after finishing 17th in Brno with a tire problem. ‘But I don’t think ahead about the championship; I just think about riding at my best and winning as many races as possible.
‘Marc Marquez has mostly taken the best results he can get so he’s doing a good job. And we’ve been unlucky. For Valentino Rossi, the bad luck was to break the engine in Mugello. For me some bad luck like Brno and also not being competitive enough in the rain at Sachsenring and Assen. So this makes Marc Marquez much more in front in the points.’