Valentino Rossi not far enough behind in MotoGP points - Marquez

Honda's Marc Marquez insists it is too early to rule Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi out of the 2016 MotoGP title fight

Valentino Rossi not far enough behind in MotoGP points - Marquez

Marquez leads reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo by 24 points entering this weekend's German Grand Prix, the ninth of 2016's 18 races, with Rossi 42 points behind.

Rossi's deficit is nearly the equivalent of two race wins, and he will have to become the first rider since 1998 to win a title having failed to score in three grands prix, but Marquez believes he the Italian is still a factor.

How Marquez is stealing the MotoGP title

"Jorge is at the moment the strongest one, because he is the closest one in the championship," the two-time MotoGP champion said.

"He is second and will be really strong in the second half of the season, so we need to take care about him.

"But also not forget Valentino, [the gap's] far but not far enough.

"Like we saw last races, he was very strong, and it will be hard to manage this distance."

While Marquez has elected not to use a new frame introduced by Honda during testing last month, he is hopeful other development items in the pipeline will help his bid for a third crown.

"That we have arrived at halfway through the season leading the championship by 24 points, I couldn't imagine," he said.

"But we worked really hard with the team, every time becoming better, better and better.

"Honda is working really hard and now we start to have some new items that we will start to test in the next races, and we will see if we can do another step."

CHANGES COULD HELP END GERMAN RUN

Marquez has won the last three German GPs, and including Moto2 and 125cc has not been beaten at the Sachsenring since 2009, while team-mate Dani Pedrosa won in MotoGP between '10-12.

But Rossi and Lorenzo both feel this year's new control electronics and Michelin tyres could swing the balance of power.

"In the last years, this track has been very good for Honda," Rossi said.

"They were a bit more competitive compared to Yamaha, but we have to understand this year if it's the same or not.

"It's also a good track for the two Honda riders because both Pedrosa and Marquez like this circuit, they are both very fast.

"But we will see the conditions and especially we have to see with the new electronics and especially with the new tyres, the feeling with the bike in this track."

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Alex Marquez , Marc Marquez
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Mitchell Adam
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