Yamaha's Valentino Rossi salutes the crowd after finishing second in the Valencia Grand Prix on Nov. 9, 2014.
Having started from pole position for the first time in over four years, Valentino Rossi secured second at the Valencia Grand Prix – also confirming his runner-up spot in the 2014 standings.
A surprise pole position put Rossi in prime position to battle teammate Jorge Lorenzo for second place in the championship. Andrea Iannone led off the line with Rossi settling into second behind his compatriot.
The Ducati rider was able to create a one-second gap to Rossi before a charging Marc Marquez aided Rossi in catching and passing Iannone. Rossi then set about trying to stay with the 2014 MotoGP World Champion, but tire wear meant he was not able to match the pace of Marquez.
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Several brief spits of rain had riders questioning whether or not to stay on slicks, with Rossi electing to do so as Lorenzo gambled on wet weather tires. The gamble did not pay off and Lorenzo was forced to retire, ensuring Rossi’s second place in the general classification with 295 points.
"I’m so happy because I finished this positive season with a good race. Today was very difficult, the conditions were impossible to understand. We worked well and I was strong. I wasn’t so far from Marc and I felt good on the bike. We had a problem on the right side of the tire, we knew about it during the practice. The temperature and condition of the track made the tire suffer a lot so I couldn’t stay with Marc through the right handers," Rossi commented.
Looking back at the season as a whole, "After Qatar, I was very happy for the race. I thought I could be competitive, but it’s difficult with Marc. A lot of podiums and points, but only two victories. Marc won 13, a big difference. We have to focus on the bike and the team to make a big step in 2015."