Valentino Rossi occupies second in the rider’s championship however the Italian legend is aiming to finish the season in fourth as he believes his Yamaha is quite simply not fast enough to compete with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez over the course of the second half of the season.
Rossi and his Moviestar Yamaha team started the season brilliantly with five podiums in the first nine races.
However, some of those finishes were rather fortuitous and The Doctor believes that a high level of performance on the YZR-M1 (which lacks quality) over the course of an entire season was always going to be expecting too much.
Ahead of the British MotoGP at Silverstone this weekend, Rossi has set his sights on finishing fourth in the Championship.
“Realistically, I think that the Ducatis will both beat me, because now they are close [in the points] and they are very fast,” said Rossi.
“It would be nice to fight for the podium on almost every track, but the three of them were faster this year, so it will be tough.
“But we have to try and I hope the next tracks, with more corners, we can be closer.
“Last year the Silverstone race was one of the nicest – I started on the first row and I was at the front. I led for 16 laps and at a certain point I thought I could win, but Dovizioso and [Maverick] Vinales beat me.
“We can be quick, but we need to see if Marquez and the Ducatis are faster than last year.”
With eight rounds of action remaining, Rossi’s lack of ambition for 2018 is surprising considering he has won the Championship seven times and has 89 career victories to his name.
That said, while the YZR-M1 is definitely not the fastest bike in the Championship, Rossi is still capable of upsetting the apple cart and at a technical track like Silverstone, he could have something up his sleeve.
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