PETALING JAYA: Valentino Rossi’s (pic and inset) reputation is at stake at the European MotoGP rounds.
The Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider stated the upcoming races were crucial as it could show whether or not he can be competitive in 2021.
The premier class grid lands in Portugal this weekend ahead of races at Jerez, Le Mans and Mugello over the coming weeks.
They are all venues that the nine-time world champion rider has enjoyed success over recent years and the Italian admits he must raise his level at circuits “that are good for me”.
The 42-year-old stole headlines on the opening weekend of 2021 by clinching an incredible fourth place during qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix.
However, the Italian slumped to 12th in the race before enduring a disastrous outing at the Doha Grand Prix two weeks ago that saw him suffer one of the worst qualifying results of his illustrious career.
Rossi started from 21st on the grid and could only muster 16th place but pointed out that he was 14 seconds off the lead in a closely-fought MotoGP race.
“In Europe there is a lot of good tracks for me. So, we hope that when we go to Europe we can be stronger. We found some different settings for the electronics where I could stay with the pace more constantly, ” he said.
“Unfortunately, we found it just in the morning and my position in the start was very bad. Now it’s difficult because all the riders, all the bikes are strong and being within 10 seconds from the win, you are 15th, ” he said.