Valentino Rossi says his current predicament of fighting outside the points in MotoGP “is not fun” after the Petronas SRT man struggled to 17th in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Rossi has been able to score just four points in the first four MotoGP events of 2021-courtesy of a run to 12th in the season opening Qatar GP- and sits a lowly 21st out of 24 in the riders standings as he has found it difficult to find a good feeling with the updated ’21-spec Yamaha M1.
This season marks Rossi’s first season in MotoGP competing with an independent squad after being replaced by Fabio Quartararo at the factory Yamaha outfit, the seven-time premier class champion joining the Malaysian-owned Petronas SRT team for this term with a factory spec M1.
His start to life in a private team hasn’t gone smoothly though as he has struggled for speed aboard the upgraded ’21 machine, his troubles amplified at a Jerez circuit he has achieved so much past success after qualifying 17th and ending the encounter nearly 23 seconds adrift of race winner Jack Miller- salt added to the wound with team-mate Franco Morbidelli also finishing on the rostrum.
Rossi admitted that fighting for positions towards the foot of the leader board “is not fun” and hoped that set-up changes as well as new parts from Yamaha to try during Monday’s post-Jerez test could provide some light at the end of the tunnel going forward.
“It’s been a very difficult start to the season for us because I know that it is a difficult challenge for us to try and win, but I think I can be more competitive, so we need to work and try to find a way to improve my pace and feeling with the bike,” said Rossi.
“Tomorrow we will have the test, we have something to try so I hope we can be more competitive (going forwards.)
“For sure I love riding in MotoGP but fighting for 17th is not very fun, so it will be very important (to find form) tomorrow we need to understand things and it is very important to learn things if the race was not fantastic so we will see.
“We will try some new settings on the bike, plus we have some new stuff from Yamaha, not too much but something.”
Rossi added that he wasn’t able to feel “comfortable” on his M1 across the entirety of the Spanish GP event, saying he “suffered a lot” getting his challenger stopped in the early goings of the 25-lap contest.
“It was a difficult race after a difficult weekend because I was never fast and I suffered a lot,” continued the Italian.
“During the race I had more or less the same pace I had in practice, but I found it particularly difficult in the beginning as I found it tough to stop the bike and couldn’t feel comfortable.
“It was better later on but I was still not fast enough to get points, I tried to overtake (Iker) Lecuona but I went wide and then I lost a position to my brother (Luca Marini.)”