Valentino Rossi says he still has no regrets over his decision to leave Ducati despite his podium finish on home soil at Misano.
After securing only his fourth second-row start for Ducati in qualifying, Rossi leapt into second on the opening lap of the San Marino Grand Prix and maintained position through to the checkered flag. His eventual deficit of just 4.4s seconds to winner Jorge Lorenzo represents the closest Rossi has ever come to victory for the Italian marque.
Despite admitting to uncertainty that he will be able to match Lorenzo at Yamaha, Rossi said his podium had not made him doubt his decision to leave Ducati.
"I have no regrets," Rossi told Motosprint. "As a professional I will do my best until the afternoon of the last race.
"I'm trying hard to get good results, for different reasons but especially for this one: if at the end of the year we leave a good project that can be used well by other riders too, that means that my team and I have worked well."
Asked whether he thought he had been compelled to make a decision too early in the season, Rossi replied: "No, I don't think so – in fact I have no regrets or afterthoughts.
"I took the decision very early because we live in a time where you need to decide your future at the beginning of the season, and my age could also have had an influence – that is, my need to get results quickly. In any case I had hoped it would take much less to find this sort of chassis. Instead a long time went by with no improvements."
Having played down the significance of his Misano qualifying form, Rossi also cautioned that his podium finish - his first in the dry for Ducati - might prove difficult to repeat in the remaining five races.
"During the warm-up we found a good setup, this time the bike allowed me to ride it well. I was quicker than usual when changing direction too," he said. "It's thanks to the new chassis, that design-wise is not very different from the previous one, but it has those modifications that make the bike not only easier to ride but also simpler to set up.
"You can work better and with more possibilities on the bike's geometries and other aspects, so it's better for the team too. We have made some progress, that's undeniable, but we've found some favourable conditions here and now I'd wait for the following races before saying certain things. For example, I fear it won't be so easy at Aragon."