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Valentino Rossi missed out on a podium in the first round of MotoGP at Qatar. He finished in fourth spot – over 2.00 seconds behind his Yamaha mate Jorge Lorenzo.

The result was disappointing for Vale and the first time he has not placed in the top 3 for 3 years.

He heads to Round 2 in Argentina on Sunday – having won there last year after clashing with Marc Marquez, the first of three incidents involving the pair last season.

“I am very happy to go to Argentina. In this place I have many fans and its always nice to feel the affection and passion of these people. I have great memories here. Last year it was a great race. It will be difficult to repeat the same result but we will try”, said Rossi.

“In Qatar I was not able to go on the podium but it was a good race anyway. We worked well throughout the weekend. In Argentina we will have to do the same thing, but we’ll have to do better in the race and try to get on the podium. I really like the Termas track and we will try our best!”

Yamaha Team director Massimo Meregalli is confident both riders will be up front next Sunday.


“This year our riders are both in top form so we are expecting another close fight. We have already gained more knowledge on how well Michelin’s tyre life lasts over long distance from the first race. It will be interesting to see how the tyres will perform at this circuit where we haven’t done any testing yet.”

Rossi signed a new two-year Movistar Yamaha contract in Qatar, but Lorenzo is holding out until the season develops and hopefully is in a commanding position to do the best deal he can.