Valentino Rossi: Austin MotoGP pace key to proving return to form

Valentino Rossi believes he needs to 'confirm' his return to the front of the MotoGP field in this weekend's Austin race to show his Qatar pace was no one-off

Valentino Rossi: Austin MotoGP pace key to proving return to form

The seven-time MotoGP world champion began the 2014 season in impressive form, going wheel-to-wheel for victory with reigning champion Marc Marquez in Qatar in a fight that went down to the final lap before going in favour of the young Spaniard.

Rossi parted company with long-time crew chief Jerry Burgess - who helped mastermind his impressive run of success - at the end of 2013, arguing that he needed a change to help improve his motivation and performance after his form faded during last year's campaign.

Though his Losail performance suggested he had been rejuvenated, Rossi noted that in 2013 a combative runner-up finish in Qatar was followed by a disappointing sixth place in America - making this weekend vital for vindicating his "dangerous bet" of dispensing with Burgess in favour of new crew chief Silvano Galbusera.

"Getting a good result in Austin would mean a lot for me and for Yamaha," Rossi said.

"It would also mean that the decision taken is the right one.

"The season started well but now we need confirmation and this year I want to be competitive everywhere.

"Last year I made one of the worst races of the season in Texas, and this year I want to see if we can be competitive everywhere."

Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo crashed while leading in Qatar, having been uncomfortable with the bike and Bridgestone's 2014 tyres all weekend.

He is hoping a better event in America can erase those memories.

"After a very disappointing race result in Qatar I look forward to racing at Austin to try to get a good result and forget as soon as possible all the things that happened in Losail," said Lorenzo.

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