MotoGP: Rossi puts high price on Assen victory

Valentino Rossi of Italy heads down a straight during the MotoGP of Netherlands

Valentino Rossi has put a high price on ending his one year losing streak with a win in Saturday’s Dutch TT at Assen.

Rossi’s last win was at this race a year ago, his only victory of 2013, and he is regarded as an Assen specialist.

But the seven-time MotoGP champion and Yamaha star says he would not swap a string of podiums for just a single win this year.

So far the 2014 season has been a clean sweep of Honda and Marc Marquez with seven straight wins.

Rossi, 35, and in age-defying form, has been second to Marquez three times this season with a total of five podiums from the seven races.

But he is not prepared to swap a growing list of podiums for just one win, even at Assen against Marquez.

"No, because I hope to do more than 10 podiums before the end of the season and 10 podiums for one victory is too much," Rossi said.

"For two victories, maybe yes."

Right now, any rider squeezing out two victories this season against the dynamic Marquez looks a long shot and the young Spaniard was in sparkling form in opening practice for the Dutch TT.

Rossi was seventh fastest, and qualified 12th in the wet conditions, but will not use a new exhaust system from Yamaha – with a shorter muffler for better low end engine response – that has found favor with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

"Yamaha has tried to work with the pipes to have better engine character and power delivery from the bottom but I lose something at the top," Rossi said.

"Jorge likes it lot and I think he will use it but for me with just one set I prefer to go with the standard one and wait for the other set to come at the next race."

Rossi is also concerned about rear tire performance and grip and is hoping for a cooler race day with lower temperatures slightly favoring the M1 against the Honda.

"We have to continue to work because after 3-4 laps the temperature of the tire raises a bit too much and the rear part of the bike moves and I have to slow down," he said.

"We have to work on this to improve my pace for the race."

Rossi knows the taste of victory at the classic Assen circuit having won this MotoGP race six times – in 2002, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’09 and 2013.