Lorenzo: Rossi ‘disappointed his fans’ in Qatar

Valentino Rossi. Picture: Petronas Yamaha SRT Twitter

Three-time premier class champion Jorge Lorenzo says Valentino Rossi has made a disappointing start to this year’s MotoGP season.

After finishes of 12th and 16th at the Losail International Circuit, Rossi languishes in 14th in the riders’ championship.

After eight years at the factory Yamaha team, the Italian was shuffled out of the fold and made the move to the satellite Sepang Racing Team this year where he has so far struggled to be competitive.

The 42-year-old showed glimpses of pace in the opening rounds in Qatar, notably with one-lap speed, but has struggled to be quick over a long run on his YZR-M1.

Barring retirements, Rossi’s second showing in Qatar was the first time since Malaysia in 2018 that Rossi hadn’t finished in the points.

“Rossi has disappointed me, as I suppose he has disappointed his fans because a lot is always expected from Valentino,” Lorenzo said in his Grand Prix of Doha summary video, 99 Seconds.

“To be 21st in practice, I think he said he had some practices that he did worse in his career, but it’s difficult to find a worse one.

“And then in the race, outside the points, I also think It’s difficult to find a race that Valentino finished, without a crash or an engine breakdown, outside of the points.

“It is the second time that he is far behind the other Yamaha.”

Lorenzo spent much of his premier class MotoGP career alongside Rossi at the factory Yamaha team.

The Spaniard, who retired at the end of 2019, said he hoped Rossi will bounce back at the forthcoming rounds in Portugal and Spain.

“Let’s hope it’s a particular occasion,” Lorenzo said of the Qatar performance.

“He never did well in Qatar and better circuits will surely come.

“I don’t know if it will be in Portimao, that will also be difficult for him, but surely, he will come back strong in Jerez.”

The 2021 MotoGP season continues next weekend at the Algarve International Circuit, Portimao on April 18.

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