MotoGP: Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi ready for Austin title test
Last Updated: 10/04/14 3:24pm
Rossi is aiming for world title number seven this season
Valentino Rossi believes this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas will prove if he has a chance of winning a seventh world title.
The 35-year-old Italian claimed second place in the first race of the season in Qatar three weeks ago following a superb ride that took him from 10th on the grid to within 0.259 seconds of winner Marc Marquez.
The Yamaha rider feels that another positive result in Austin on Sunday will boost his chances of a first title since 2009.
"The season started well, but now we need confirmation," said Rossi, who finished a disappointing sixth in America last year. "Last year I had one of my worst races of the season in Texas, and this year I want to see if we can be competitive everywhere.
"Getting a good result in Austin would mean a lot for me and for Yamaha. It would mean the direction taken is the right one.
"So we will try to do our best to be competitive in Austin because I'd like to have fun, like I did in Qatar."
Rossi's second-place finish in Qatar came somewhat at the expense of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who who charged through from fifth to first on lap one, only to make an early exit because of a crash.
The two-time champion is eager to make amends in Austin and close the points gap between himself and Marquez.
"After a very disappointing result in Qatar I'm looking forward to racing at Austin to try to get a good result and forget as soon as possible all the things that happened in Losail," said Lorenzo.
Marquez himself is relishing the ride at Austin, especially now that the leg he broke just a month ago is beginning to heal.
"Since round one I've been focusing on getting my leg stronger and my body fitter in preparation for this race," he said.
"Thankfully the majority of hard turns at this track are left handers which is easier on my leg as I'm still not 100 per cent fit.
"This track is also one of my favourites. I had a good race here last year, with good memories of taking my first win in MotoGP."