Rossi: I’ve won 89 MotoGP races…

Valentino Rossi jokes 'I'm not so bad' when quizzed on current MotoGP losing streak, remains adamant more victories are possible and that he won't need to change crew chief...
Rossi: I’ve won 89 MotoGP races…

Valentino Rossi pointed out he has fought back from a longer losing streak and jokingly highlighted his all-time MotoGP win record, when asked if his current victory drought is difficult to deal with.

Rossi hasn't stood on the top step of the podium since the Dutch TT in 2017, a barren run of 36-races. But the Italian previously endured a 44-race losing streak from Phillip Island 2010 until Assen 2013, including both seasons at Ducati.

"For sure I don't like [the losing streak] but it happened already another time in my career and I was able to come back," Rossi said.

The Doctor dominates the premier-class win table courtesy of 89 victories since his debut in 2000. Giacomo Agostini is next closest on 68 wins, while the top active rider is Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez on 49 victories.

As such, Rossi quipped life would be bearable if he did not manage to win again - but then quickly made clear his desire to do so.

"I’ve won 89 races in MotoGP… I'm not so bad! So I can 'manage' if I remain at 89!" he laughed.

"But we don't give up because it's true that I'm old for sure, but last year I was already old and also five years ago I was already old."

Rossi - who has won nine races in the last five years and lost out on the 2015 title at the final round - is now seeking to become only the fourth rider in history over the age of 40 (and first since Jack Finlay in 1977) to win a premier-class motorcycle grand prix.

What makes Rossi's current dry spell unique is that he has recently been outperformed by two riders on the same machine - factory Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales and satellite rookie star Fabio Quartararo, whom Rossi feels are able to get more from the set-up now needed to go fast on the M1.

"Sincerely I don't feel in my mind that I give up, or that I'm not concentrating, or I don't have enough motivation to arrive at the race weekend. So there is no reason why this year I am 20 seconds slower than I was here last year," Rossi said of his disappointing Sachsenring race, where he finished in eighth place and 19.110s behind Marquez.

"I think we can understand and we can recover, but it is a difficult situation because sincerely I expected to be strong [at Sachsenring], but in reality, no."

Although Rossi won at Assen during his 2013 return to Yamaha, he finished the season almost 100 points behind team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. It marked the first time the #46 had finished lower than a team-mate in the world championship, without being injured.

Deciding a major change was needed, Rossi announced a shock split from crew chief Jerry Burgess and began a new partnership with Silvano Galbusera.

Given Rossi's current predicament, might Galbusera's role now be in danger?

"I don't think so because we work hard, I feel good with all my team and it's already a long time that we are together with Silvano," said the nine-time world champion. "We have to find a way [with the team] like this, I think."

Runner-up in Argentina and Austin at the start of the season, Rossi's run of three successive DNFs and an eighth place in Germany means he has now lost fifth in the world championship to Vinales.

The Spaniard is the only Yamaha rider to have won since Rossi at Assen 2017, spraying victory champagne at Phillip Island last season and Assen this season.

Rossi's current MotoGP contract runs until the end of 2020.