Valentino Rossi motivated for a busy second half of the season

Present at the pre-race press conference ahead of the tenth round of the MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, Valentino Rossi, who competed at the circuit almost 20 years ago, spoke of his familiarity at the circuit and what is in store for the second half of the season with the championship the focus.

Valentino Rossi motivated for a busy second half of the season
Rossi joking with fellow Italian Dovizioso at the pre-race press conference ahead of the Austrian GP - Getty Images

It may have been almost 20 years since Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi raced in Austria at the Red Bull Ring, but he goes into the eleventh round of the MotoGP as one of the only riders to experience the track in a competitive setting. Back in 1997, Rossi was in the 125cc class competing for Aprilia in the class and managed to finish on the podium.

Disappointing result from the German GP

After the ninth round of the MotoGP at the Sachsenring, Germany, where the Italian lost many places in the final stages of a wet to dry race which meant he finished further down the rankings than he liked (eighth), like other teams he made his way straight to the Red Bull Ring for two days of testing.

Rossi chasing Petrucci during a wet first half of the German GP - www.ridertua.com
Rossi chasing Petrucci during a wet first half of the German GP - www.ridertua.com

Nine times world champion experienced at the Red Bull Ring

Rossi found the track to “the same from 20 years ago”, at the pre-race press conference he identified that the “asphalt is new” and was complimentary saying he felt is “had very good grip and is flat with no bumps”.

Speaking about the Red Bull Ring Rossi feels, “the track is so fast”, however he described it as a “particular track” but that it was “different from other ones” due to the amount of riders use “full throttle” and he felt that it may make the race different from the others.

Rossi on the podium after the 125cc race in Austria back in 1996 - www.speedweek.com
Rossi on the podium after the 125cc race in Austria back in 1996 - www.speedweek.com

Rossi motivated after the summer break

Now the riders are returning from almost a four week ‘summer break’ where they have had the chance to rest, recuperate and train ready for the challenges the second half of the season may bring. At the press conference Rossi said, “From tomorrow we start an important part of the season.”

The Yamaha rider was referring to the amount of races that are in store over the next seven week pointing out there are “four races in five weeks” and “five races in seven weeks” when the riders will get to Aragon.

Rossi spoke of his preference of a busier season saying that after Barcelona “we always had a long stop from one race to the other so it is not fantastic”. He commented on the fact that they will experience “interesting tracks from here to Aragon”.

Championship the focus for the Italian

Now after a disappointing result from the German GP, championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was able to extend his championship lead after his strategy in the race paid off and he took the win. Rossi is very much aware of this and agreed that “it is a very big gap unfortunately”. He said, “The last race I lose a lot of points so the gap is big so we just have to concentrate and try to give the maximum.

His aim is to “try to be strong” and to “arrive on the podium” in order to “take some more points in the second half of the season than in the first.” Rossi is currently third in the championship on 11 points, he is 50 points behind leader Marquez. His teammate Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) sits between them in second with 122 points.