Rossi: MotoGP points gap to Marquez still too big

Valentino Rossi still believes Marc Marquez's MotoGP championship lead is too big to overhaul, despite beating the Spaniard in every race since the summer break

Rossi: MotoGP points gap to Marquez still too big

Rossi headed to the Austrian Grand Prix 59 points behind the Honda rider, and has finished ahead in the four races since, including recording three consecutive podiums.

Rossi vs Lorenzo: Who was right?

However Marquez has been similarly consistent to negate the points loss, and is still 43 ahead with five grands prix remaining.

The Yamaha rider said he maintains his view that Marquez is too far ahead, but has taken satisfaction from beating him.

"It's still too big, 43 points and five races," Rossi said. "It's a big gap.

"But, essentially speaking, he's very strong and if you are able to beat him in a race it means you did a great race.

"I'm happy about my second part of the season until now, unfortunately I don't win but I got three podiums and in Austria I was fourth, very close and I take some points [out of the lead].

"We have to go like this to the end."

Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo is a further 18 points behind in the championship in third.

Acceleration has been Honda's weak point all season, but the manufacturer has made progress, including with the control electronics.

Marquez had largely been on his own at the front, but team-mate Dani Pedrosa claimed his first win of the campaign at Misano last Sunday, while LCR satellite rider Cal Crutchlow was a strong second at Silverstone seven days earlier.

Rossi, who was the last rider Pedrosa passed on his way to victory, said he has noticed Honda's progress.

"They worked very hard on the acceleration from the corner, [where] usually our bike is good," he said.

"Usually they have better agility to change direction and are also a bit better in braking for entry, but we are a bit better in acceleration.

"I think that Honda worked very well until this point, and [at Misano] the bike was fast and also more smooth in acceleration."

AUTOSPORT SAYS

There's a decent argument that Rossi should be leading the MotoGP championship, if not for his errors at Assen and the Sachsenring, and/or the engine failure at Mugello.

But he's not. Marquez is and keeps on passing little hurdles to get closer to a third title.

Rossi has all-but written off his title chances, but in continuing to outscore Marquez, he is giving us all a glimmer of hope that we will have something resembling a showdown.

However, finishing fourth over Marquez's fifth at the Red Bull Ring, second over third at Brno, third over fourth at Silverstone and second over fourth at Misano will not be enough.

He probably needed a win or two, and the ideal scenario would have been to beat Pedrosa last Sunday, rather than having to settle for second.

The extra five points Rossi would have gained would have left the margin at 38 points rather than 43, and made things that little bit more interesting.

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