World Championship leader Valentino Rossi has said he is surprised to be leading the championship as the European leg of the 2017 gets underway.
A second placed finish last time out at the Circuit of the Americas, coupled with the crash of team-mate Maverick Viñales sees the Italian arrive in Andalusia with a six point advantage over his team-mate.
Rossi will be hoping to extend his lead atop the MotoGP World Championship at a circuit he has always gone well at. Recording seven wins in the premier class and further wins in 125 and 250, the Italian will be hoping for a historic tenth victory around the Spanish circuit.
Still in shock at the fact he arrives in Jerez with a six point lead, Rossi said that he and his Yamaha team have finally managed to solve a lot of the issues encountered in pre-season, but is aware there is still a lot of work that can be done before finding the optimal setup.
“I would never have expected to come to Jerez as a leader of the Championship,” said the 38-year-old.
“I’m very happy because we managed to solve some of the problems we had encountered during the winter tests and we are doing really good races. We still have to improve the bike a lot, that’s for sure.”
With Jerez kicking off the long European stretch which extends through until September,the Doctor said he wants to lay down an early marker and be on the pace from the very first practice session of the weekend.
“The weekend in Jerez will be very important. This is the first European race and it’s a circuit I really enjoy. We have improved a lot in Austin since the first free practice and now it will be important to improve again in Jerez,” he said.
“We are understanding how to work with this bike and I’m sure we will be able to find what we are looking for.”
Photo via Movistar Yamaha