PARIS: As one of MotoGP’s two big surviving stars unexpectedly soared again last weekend, the other appears to be struggling with the inevitable slide in the dark, but Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix could offer hope to Valentino Rossi.
As the checkered flag fell at the German Grand Prix last Sunday, it seemed inevitable that six-time world champion Marc Marquez would win.
He may have missed a year after a terrible arm injury, but he had won the last 10 times he had raced at the Sachsenring.
If the same logic applies to Assen, then maybe Rossi, who has won 10 times on the track, will produce an even bigger surprise.
The Italian has won one more world title than Marquez, but at 42 he is struggling to overtake his father’s time.
Demoted to the Yamaha SRT satellite team this season, the Italian did not finish better than 10th out of the eight races.
He limped 14th in Germany and 19th in the rider standings.
In Assen on Thursday, he said his future plans were yet to be decided.
“We will think more deeply during the summer break and have to talk with Yamaha and the team,” he said.
“We want to try to get better results and because of that it will be difficult for next year.
“The passion is really high. I still appreciate it very much. But the results are also important to profit from it. It’s a tough life, with a lot of stress, training and pressure. “
The ‘Temple of Speed’ in Assen has long been suitable for Rossi.
His last victory, in 2017, came on the Dutch circuit. This triumph, which came 20 years and 311 days after winning the 125cc race in the Czech Republic in 1996, gave him the longest winning career in Grand Prix.
“Assen is a great track for me,” said Rossi.
“I really like the layout, it’s very fluid. It’s a place that I really enjoy and you always feel a lot of emotion when you ride there.
“So we have to stay positive, focus on the last lap before the summer break and get a good result in Assen.”
SRT announced on Wednesday that its other regular runner, Franco Morbidelli, would miss the race after injuring his knee in training on Tuesday. The Italian will be replaced by the American Garrett Gerloff.
Marquez, meanwhile, played down rising expectations.
He stressed after his first win in over 18 months, that the narrow, curvy Sachsenring suited him and his Honda, especially the preponderance of left turns put less strain on his weak right arm.
“In Assen we will fight again,” said the Spaniard.
“We enjoyed our moment after the Sachsenring, with the team, with my family and with those who have helped me,” he said on the Honda website on Tuesday, before making a cautious note about from Assen. “We had good results there, but of course our situation is different now.”
But Marquez, who exposed the caution of the other riders while attacking when the rain started to fall in Germany, noted that conditions could be in his favor. “The weather is shaping up to be very cold and humid.”
Marquez also entered the debate over Rossi’s future.
“With value, anything is possible. Good for MotoGP if he decides to stay with his team, ”he said on Thursday.
Championship leader Fabio Quartararo recently racked up points in the race when he felt he was running out of speed on his factory Yamaha.
“To finish third at the Sachsenring was a good thing,” said e. “Being on the podium after a ‘bad weekend’ makes us even more positive.”
“This weekend we are racing the TT Circuit Assen, which is one of my favorite circuits, and it suits the Yamaha well. I wish it was already Friday! “- AFP