Valentino Rossi admits Alex Rins was 'a bit stronger' in Austin fight

Valentino Rossi admits MotoGP Americas Grand Prix winner Alex Rins was a “bit stronger” than him in their battle at the Circuit of the Americas last Sunday. 

The Yamaha rider slotted in behind Marc Marquez at the start, and inherited a one-second lead when the Honda man crashed out at Turn 12 on lap nine. 

Rossi quickly came under pressure from the chasing Rins, with the Suzuki rider moving ahead with four laps remaining and resisting a last-lap surge from the Italian to take his maiden MotoGP win. 

Revealing mixed feelings after his second-successive second-place finish, Rossi conceded Rins simply had the measure of him.

“I tried everything and I did a very good race, I stay a lot in front,” said Rossi. 

“But my problem was at the end, Rins was a bit stronger than me. I tried the maximum, I made some mistakes unfortunately. 

“Maybe if I did everything perfect I could try to attack him, but he was better than me in the last laps. 

“So, [I have] mixed feelings. From one side, [I'm] sorry to lose the victory: from the other side, it's a great result after a great weekend, I was very strong.

“20 points is very important for the championship – the championship is very open. It looks like we are good, we are strong this year, the bike has improved. 

“This is the important thing, because maybe we can fight a lot of times [this season].”

When asked to highlight where the Suzuki rider had an edge, Rossi noted braking, acceleration and his “good lines to avoid bumps” as Rins' strongest areas. 

Rossi also admits he was not willing to try anything “crazy” on the last lap after closing up to Rins, knowing the importance of scoring 20 points. 

“Rins was a bit faster than me in braking, he has good acceleration, he ride very well in some good lines to avoid the bumps,” added Rossi, who is now just three points from the championship lead in second.

“Anyway, if I made [the lap] all perfect I could try [to attack]. Unfortunately I did a mistake at Turn 11. 

“He arrive wide, but I arrive wider than him and I lose. On the last lap I did a very good lap. 

“I did the maximum, but I don't want to try anything crazy because 20 points are important. He was a bit stronger, it's like this."