Valentino Rossi expected more of a fight for Jerez MotoGP win

Valentino Rossi says he expected more of a fight for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix following his dominant performance at Jerez

Valentino Rossi expected more of a fight for Jerez MotoGP win

The Yamaha rider led every lap to take his first win of the season, leading by more than four seconds over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo before backing off to celebrate at the finish line.

While Rossi had high hopes he would be strong late in the race, he expected Lorenzo and Honda's Marc Marquez, who finished third, to give him more problems in the early laps.

"I expected to suffer more in the first laps because Lorenzo is always very strong," said Rossi.

"I wanted to stay quiet because I knew I would have good pace for the rest of the race - we work well with used tyres.

"I just had to make no mistakes and stay with him at the beginning, and I knew Marquez had good pace.

"But starting in a good way is more easy, and I had good grip from the first lap.

"From the first lap I already felt a small advantage.

"On the second lap I wasn't perfect and Lorenzo overtook me [for one corner], but I knew I had the pace so I came back, and after that moment I pulled away."

Rossi hopes starting the European season with a commanding victory can be a good omen for the upcoming part of the campaign.

"For me Jerez is important because usually you can understand your level," he said.

"Usually if you are strong in Jerez you can be strong in all the European races.

"Lorenzo is always very strong in Jerez, so to finish in front of him is important.

"But especially for me it's important because [this result] arrives at the right moment.

"It's important to be strong at the beginning of Europe if you want to fight for the championship."

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MotoGP Jerez: Valentino Rossi takes dominant win
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