Having started from pole position for the first time in over four years, Valentino Rossi secured second at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana – also confirming his runner-up spot in the 2014 standings.
A surprise pole position put Rossi in prime position to battle teammate Jorge Lorenzo for that second place in the championship. Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) led off the line with Rossi settling into second behind his compatriot.
The Ducati rider was able to create a one second gap to Rossi, before a charging Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) aided Rossi in catching, and passing, Iannone. Rossi then set about trying to stay with the 2014 MotoGP™ World Champion, but tyre wear meant he was not able to match the pace of Marquez.
Several brief spits of rain had riders questioning whether or not to stay on slicks, Rossi elected to do as Lorenzo gambled on wet weather tyres. The gamble did not pay off and Lorenzo was forced to retire, ensuring Rossi’s second place in the general classification with 295 points.
“I’m so happy because I finished this positive season with a good race. Today was very difficult, the conditions were impossible to understand. We worked well and I was strong. I wasn’t so far from Marc and I felt good on the bike. We had a problem on the right side of the tyre, we knew about it during the practice. The temperature and condition of the track made the trye suffer a lot so I couldn’t stay with Marc through the right handers,” Rossi commented on today.
Looking back at the season as a whole, “After Qatar I was very happy for the race, I thought I could be competitive, but fuck it’s difficult with Marc. A lot of podiums and points, but only two victories! Marc won 13, a big difference. We have to focus on the bike and the team to make a big step in 2015.”