Rossi on Marquez battle: ‘like an old MotoGP race from 10 years ago’

Marquez explains: 'The battle was the best part of the race'

Rossi on Marquez battle: ‘like an old MotoGP race from 10 years ago’

A DRAMATIC MotoGP season opener saw nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi compare his battle with 21-year-old Marc Marquez to how old MotoGP races used to be – ‘all together on the same pace.’

Riders such as Lorenzo, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl all crashed out from the leading group allowing ‘the Doctor’ to carve his way to the front where the battle with the youngest World Champion began.

Rossi said: “I’m very happy, but a little bit upset because I lost. Marc is very strong and I enjoyed very much the whole race.

“It was a great race, very funny from the beginning, I started from behind and I had to risk in the first laps. I was very precise and didn't make any mistakes. At the end I played my card with Marc but he was stronger than me so he won and he deserved it.

"It’s the first time it looked like an old race from MotoGP from ten years ago, all together on the same pace, some mistakes, going wide and so on. Maybe Dorna had a great idea!"

The Italian made the decision towards the end of last year to replace his long-term Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess: “I took a gamble on asking Silvano Galbusera to come and work with me this year.

"I had a good feeling when I tested the R1 Superbike with him after I broke my leg, but it was a gamble because he had no experience in MotoGP. We are able to communicate well and that has helped with the setting of the bike and to be more competitive.”

Rossi finished only 0.259s behind Marquez after dicing with each other several times especially over the last two laps.

Marquez conluded: “I'm very happy with the result today. This weekend there were a lot of riders up at the front, all with a great pace, and seeing how the race went, this win is a big one.”

“The battle with Valentino was the best part of the race besides the win, I really enjoyed it!”

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