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MotoGP, Rossi: some would cut off a finger for Yamaha

"No problem finding a competitive youngster in two years time". On the GP: "mistakes in qualiying, podium a good goal"

Rossi: some would cut off a finger for Yamaha

For the first time this year, Valentino Rossi will start from the third row. At Le Mans qualifiying didn't go as he'd expected and his grid position reflects this. “Pedrosa crashed in front of me, I returned to the garage and had to change strategy”, he says. So, while Lorenzo flew towards pole, the Doctor was dealing with other problems.

I got caught up in traffic - he continues - I had time for another lap but made a mistake in sector three. The grid position doesn't reflect my potential, I could have been between 3rd and 5th”.

The positives today?
We improved a lot compared to yesterday and that's the important thing. I'm more competitive, but I also know it's not enough. I still have to improve in two or three points and that could give me those two or three tenths that I need”.

You need a good start…
When you start from the third row it all becomes more complicated, even if the pace isn't bad. I'd say that the podium would be a good aim..

What's causing the problems?
At Jerez we'd made some brave moves but they were all the right ones, here we've made some mistakes that have caused us to lose time. For example, yesterday we tried to solve the traction problems, working on the setting, and today we realised that we just needed to use the new tyre".

So you had to play catch up?
When you are at a disadvantage, the others won't wait for you. Today I'm the person who improved the most, but my rivals didn't stand still”.

Do you have some ideas for the warm up?
Yes, but we need to see if they work. To do a good race, I have to improve further. Lorenzo is more effective in braking and I'm still losing on the straight, we need to make another step in terms of set-up”.

It looks like Jorge might be able to get away…
He's very strong and will want to follow his strategy, I hope someone can give him trouble in the opening laps. I'll have other problems, starting from further back”.

You'll have to play catch up, but overtaking seems harder this year…
It was simpler with the Bridgestones and it's a pity because all the changes were made to improve the show”.

Marquez has said the winglets could make a difference…
“Maybe only because he doesn't want them (he laughs) I'd also be happy if they were removed but I don't think they have an impact on making passes”.

Let's talk about your new teammate, Vinales is undecided between Suzuki and Yamaha. What would you advise?
Suzuki has a romantic flavour, he could repeat what Schwantz did but it would be more difficult. In Yamaha he'd find a more competitive bike, another type of challenge. The choice is his”.

If Pedrosa were to arrive, wouldn't the team be too ‘old’?
(he laughs) I think that most of the riders in MotoGP would cut off their little finger to come to the factory Yamaha team. I don't think they'll have too many problems finding a competitive young rider in two years time”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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