After placing second during his qualifier rounds at Sepang, Rossi took second in Malaysia behind Andrea Dovizioso, clinching a near-win in Sepang for Yamaha.
Rossi commented after the race that there was very little he could have done to match the rival Italian’s pace.
“He was faster. And no way; I had two moments on the right, and I don’t want to crash and throw away 20 points another time. It’s a shame because I want to try to win, but it’s a good second place.”
– Valentino Rossi
— Valentino Rossi (@ValeYellow46) October 30, 2016
Rossi faced an uphill battle after falling back several positions in the opening laps, clawing his way back to the front incrementally – starting with an outrageously ballsy triple-pass at Turn 9.
Although a valiant effort, the second-place finish means that Rossi is not in the standing for second in the World Championship – while not necessarily a big blow to a 9-time World Champion, it does represent yet another lost opportunity to make up for Yamaha’s recent losing streak.
— Valentino Rossi (@ValeYellow46) October 28, 2016
However, the results didn’t shake Rossi’s trademark near-giddy demeanor in the slightest.
“I’m quite satisfied, because we have a lot of podiums. I want to try to win a bit more, but it’s like this. And also my speed was good, I was quite competitive. But I’m not fully satisfied, because at the end, I was never in the race for the championship, because I did too many mistakes, and I lose a lot of points in Mugello [engine failure].”
– Valentino Rossi
With one race left in the 2016 season, it remains to be seen just when Yamaha will eke out another win for itself. Expectations rest on the new profile front slick that Michelin will allegedly deliver, but in a season with such tight competition between manufacturer’s and riders, it’s anyone’s guess.