Valentino Rossi admitted he had mixed feelings about his third place in the Australian Grand Prix, having thoroughly enjoyed his spectacular dice with Nicky Hayden, but also finishing the race frustrated that he had not been faster.
Rossi and Hayden's dice for third was only resolved with a last-lap pass by the Yamaha rider, who had fought through from ninth place early on. But Rossi, who had been off the pace throughout practice and qualifying, conceded that he had hoped for better this weekend – especially having returned to winning ways in Malaysia a week earlier.
"A podium is OK, especially when you start from the third row," said Rossi. "But I expected to be a little bit faster during the race. But I had some problems – my setup was not perfect, we were struggling too much during practice."
He said he still took huge satisfaction from his tussle with future Ducati teammate Hayden.
"At the end with Nicky it was difficult because I stayed in front for a big part of the race," Rossi said. "I tried to push, but Nicky always came back at me. He made his attack with two or three laps to go, so we had to fight on the last lap. It was fun, and I'm so happy with the podium."