“My first podium with Bridgestone”
Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his career today, joining an elite group of riders who have stood on the premier class podium 100 times today after riding his Fiat Yamaha M1 to second place in Jerez.
world champion formed part of a podium double for the Fiat Yamaha Team as his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished third, claiming his second consecutive podium in his rookie season.
Starting from fifth, Rossi did not get the best of starts and finished the first lap in sixth, but he soon settled into a good rhythm and was stalking Lorenzo, then in second, by lap three. On the next lap he passed his team-mate and set off after Dani Pedrosa, who had led from the start.
The Spaniard was too quick today however and Rossi was unable to catch him, lapping comfortably in second until crossing the line at the end of the penultimate lap, when he mistakenly thought the race had finished and slowed down as he crossed the line. He quickly realised his error however and luckily had enough of a cushion from Lorenzo to hang on to second, eventually finishing 2.883 seconds behind Pedrosa.
“I'm really happy with this podium because, even though it hasn't been so many races since the last one, it's been quite a lot of months! I am also very happy to have reached 100 podiums in MotoGP; now I am wondering if I can get to 200!”, he said. “ It's a pity we couldn't win today and maybe I was a little bit too cautious at the start because I wanted to take care of my tyres, but in the end they worked very well from start to finish and so this is great for the future. It's always better to win but after the poor result in Qatar this is a very important second place to us, also because it's my first podium with Bridgestone. Thanks to my team, to Yamaha and to Bridgestone because we've made a lot of progress this weekend, continuing right up to making some small but important adjustments after warm-up this morning.
My bike and tyres are working very well, we're third in the championship with a very long way to go and I'm feeling quite confident.”
“We are very satisfied with today's result, especially because this second place arrives after Qatar, where we learnt a lot”, added Team Manager Davide Brivio. “The Team, all the engineers and the technicians made a great job and used the information we got in Qatar in the best way to make a big step forward. Now we want to look at this race in Jerez as the start of our championship. Of course we still have a lot to learn about the Bridgestone/Yamaha combination, but I think both parties did an excellent job here and Valentino rode a great race and kept a very consistent rhythm. Tomorrow we will have one day of testing and we will do our best in order to be in good shape for Estoril. This is Valentino's 100th podium and also the first one with Bridgestone, so it's a special day, but we hope that there will be many others! Today I would really like to say “Bravi a tutti!”
Rossi moves into third place in the championship, whilst Lorenzo holds onto second and the Fiat Yamaha Team leads the team's championship.