Rossi targets fight for the podium

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Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has revealed that he has set the target of fighting for podium places in the curtailed 2020 MotoGP championship season.

Since the coronavirus crisis put the 2020 MotoGP,season on hold, the riders have been ont he sidelines, waiting for the first grand prix of this year’s championship. The first eight races have already been postponed or cancelled with the race at Brno, scheduled for August 9, being the next event on the calendar. However, Dorna Sports has been working on a revamped calendar with the possibility of starting the 2020 season in Jerez, Spain in the second half of July.

Valentino Rossi said that he has missed the competition in recent months as his life has centred around MotoGP since 1996.
"For sure without racing life changes a lot. It's a very unusual feeling because from '96 this is my life and I miss MotoGP," Rossi told the official MotoGP website.

The Italian said that the season will be a strange one due to the limitation regarding the life inside the paddock and the lack of passionate fans. "This season will be particular, because first of all, it's more-or-less half the number of races. But the biggest difference for me will be to have two races in a row at the same circuit. This will be strange.

"We will also have a lot of limitations, no people in the paddock and especially no fans around the track. It will be like racing when the circuit is closed. For sure it will not be the same, but racing is very important to everybody, the riders, all the paddock, all the teams. So it will be crucial [to restart]."

On the back of a season that featured inconsistent result, MotoGP’s favorite rider is adamant to improve his results. The 41-year-old has started the 2019 year with a series of strong point-scoring finishes, including two second places in Argentina and in the United States of America.

However, things have turned for the worse at Mugello in his home race where he retired. This retirement was then followed by two other races where he failed to see the chequered flag. While he finished fourth in four races thereafter, he never managed to secure a podium finish. Rossi finished the year seventh in the Drivers’ CHampionship with which he equalled his worst-finishing position in his entire MotoGP career.

The Italian intends to finish higher in the races in 2020, targeting „to be more competitive than last year and fight for the podium."

"In the second half of last year, my results were not what we expected. We needed to be stronger and faster, and it looks like we lost a bit our competitiveness and the feeling it the bike in general," Rossi said.

"But I think with some new people in the garage, with the new chief mechanic etc, we need to find the way to come back and try to be competitive. This is the target.

"The winter tests were not so bad. I was quite happy. It looks like from the end of last season in Yamaha changed a lot of things on the technical side. The new bike is better, it's a bit faster and has more power. So it looks like Yamaha now worked hard and I think if Yamaha work at 100%, they can make a bike to win,” he concluded.