Valentino Rossi sprays champagne on the podium after finishing second in the Grand Prix of Spain. (Photo: Getty Images)

sprays champagne on the podium after finishing second in the Grand Prix of Spain. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Grand Prix of Spain brought joy for Valentino Rossi as he got his second podium of the season and produced a highly competitive performance in Spain.

Finishing the grueling 27-lap 119km contest just 1.5s behind the rampant race-winner Marc Marquez, Rossi appears to have regained the competitiveness which he says will be crucial to his upcoming decision on whether to keep racing beyond 2014. Returning to the rostrum for the first time since 2010 can only be a positive factor as he contemplates his future.

Indeed the nine-time World Champion’s result in the south of Spain is his 185th podium in Grand Prix racing and his 149th in the premier class. It is also his tenth podium in the premier class at the historical venue in Andalusia.

Rossi had headed the second row of the grid with his best qualifying result of 2014 to date, so all in all it was a positive weekend for the Movistar Yamaha rider.

“I’m very, very happy because Jerez is one of my favorite circuits and one of my favorite weekends because of the crowds around the track,” he enthused. “Since 2010 I have not been on the podium here, so it’s great to be back.”

“We worked very hard this weekend, we improved the bike including this morning, so I thought I would be able to be competitive. But the conditions for the race were very difficult for everyone and the pace was a bit slower. I chose the extra hard for the front, it was a risk but I was worried about the medium for the end of the race. I think I made the right choice for the Yamaha as I could push hard. I was sliding a lot at the end of the race but I kept a good rhythm.”

Rossi concluded, “At the end when Dani (Pedrosa) arrived I knew he would be a bit faster, but I gave my maximum and I’m very happy. I want to thank everyone and thank Yamaha for my second podium of the season.”