Sometimes just a little is enough to breathe a sigh of relief, a 10th place can make you happy, or almost . For Valentino it means that the nightmare that began in Mugello may be over, particularly because Rossi was better in terms of race pace than he was over the flying lap. The Doctor came to the Sachsenring in search of answers, he wanted to be sure that the ray of light seen at Assen wasn't just a mirage. Now he knows they on the right path.
“When I got to Holland I just wanted to forget the Mugello GP, but then I was slow again”.
He realised that something wasn't right and that the M1 needed some tweaking.
“Before the race we made some changes to the Yamaha and I got on better, and today we continued along that path. The M1 feels like my bike again, it lets me push through the fast sections. There's a lot still to do of course, but this is a good start”.
Anyone waiting for the #46 Yamaha to be revolutionised will be disappointed.
“I don't know how to define the change we made, but it wasn't a particularly big one. Basically, in order to run well, our bike needs to be inside a certain range and I was outside. Now the situation is much, much more positive”.
But it's still not enough, because 10th place is difficult for Rossi to accept.
“If I was 6th or 7th as I expected to be, I'd be pleased, so I'm a little less so with 10th. Tomorrow I have to take on FP3, but I'm more optimistic this time. With the soft tyre I wasn't able to improve as I wanted to. Why? I think it's too soft a compound, more than that of last year, and so this means that although it offers better grip, it lacks stability, fundamental at a track where there are many consecutive left-handers”.
Valentino was able to follow Quartararo for a few laps today.
“Fabio rides very well, he has good lines and interprets the M1 in the right way. It looks like he has more grip than me but I don't know why, perhaps he was simply faster"
Lastly, the Doctor mentions the meeting with Freddie Spencer called when riders slowed Miller and Vinales down on their fast laps.
“I was part of that group, but totally off line. They wanted to talk to us to tell us that, at a short track like this, and with many bike, we need to pay attention not to hinder other riders, or we'll be penalised. You also need to be a little lucky, because at such a narrow track it's hard to move if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Vinales: "not great sensations, but my position is good"
While Rossi is optimistic despite lying tenth, Vinales is cautious though up in fourth. He defines his Friday as 'interesting' but is not fully satisfied, particularly after his Assen victory.
“I didn't have great sensations on the bike and am struggling too much through the second sector. Despite this, I set a good time and am sure we have the potential to improve. We just have to find more grip, because I'm sliding. I'm also looking for more stability, that's why I'm trying the old fork, but tomorrow I'll continue with the one with carbon stems”.
There is only one goal: to try to beat Marquez.
“he was the strongest today- confirms Maverick - but Quartararo and Rins were also fast. It will be tough to stick with Marc, but we need to work in order to try".