But Valentino remains confident
Valentino Rossi remains confident that he has the speed to beat Nicky Hayden in any situation although he admits that the upcoming circuits are not amongst his favourites.
An intense summer of hard work by Yamaha's engineers on the
YZR-M1 has given Rossi a competitive and adaptable package that he believes can adjust to the demands of both Estoril and Valencia and give him every chance of retaining the title, which he has made his own in recent seasons.
"Now we have two difficult tracks but I think our M1 can be fast at both of them," says Rossi. "Since Brno, when we finally understood everything about what we needed to do to make our bike work at 100% again, we've been very strong everywhere and on the podium each time. I think that we're as strong as our rivals now and when we're at the maximum we're always going to be fighting at the front."
"Of course we know we could have won more if we'd been like this earlier in the season but we can't do anything about that. Anyway we know our potential and when we've started from the front lately we've been on the podium each time, so we have to carry on like this."
"Everyone involved has helped bring us back to this level.
I think the team's level of motivation and concentration is the best in the paddock, it's incredible, more than anyone else, so I have to say thank you again. I actually like Portugal - the ‘04 bike especially was very good there. It's twisty but we can go well there. In ‘05 we had some problems with the tyre, plus it was only the second race and early in the year so the weather was bad. I hope that it will be a bit warmer and won't rain, and that we can find a good tyre with Michelin."