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MotoGP, Rossi: to win we need a top 5 start

"Iannone made a great lap, the rest of us are close. I still need to find the right balance with the bike"

Rossi: to win we need a top 5 start

Predictions made ahead of the event have, unfortunately for Valentino Rossi, turned out to be correct. The Doctor doesn't quite get on with the Mugello circuit and the second half of the track is where he comes unstuck.  His sixth place today (more than 6 tenths from an unstoppable Iannone) reflects the difficulties on a first day that was essentially cut in half due to a damp track during the morning.

It was unfortunate to miss a practice session, but it was pretty useless to lap in those conditions - he explains - We tried not to waste time anyway, making some practice starts, and that didn't go too badly”.

Why didn't you test the intermediate tyres?
“That wouldn't have been a bad idea but we didn't have them mounted. There'll be other chances, anyway the forecast for the coming days is good”.

How would you rate the afternoon's work?
Conditions were good, even if it was quite cold with not much grip. I'm not yet sorted in terms of the bike's balance, I could have done with another practice session”.

And 6th place, how's that?
Aside from Iannone, who made a great lap, the gap from the front isn't too great. Then, right down to 10th place, we're all very close”.

Will these numbers change tomorrow do you think?
“In the first session, there's often not much difference and then in the next we generally see who's worked better. Perhaps that won't happen and we'll keep this balance”.

So qualifying will be very important…
It would be best to be able to start from the front row, but we need to be in at least the top 5 to be able to fight for the win”.

Does anyone gain from having lost a session?
I don't think so, maybe Ducati as they tested here in recent weeks. If conditions are good, we'll have all the time we need to work”.

What's the problem?
The second part of the track, from the Arrabbiata turn onwards. I struggle in sector three but even more so in the final sector, as I always have during my career. Exiting the last corner I have no grip, I have to wait a long time before opening the throttle and lose a lot”.

Mugello is also the home Grand Prix for all ‘your’ riders in the Academy…
It's a great project and they're really committed to it back at the company. I'm having fun with these guys who make training more relaxed, results are starting to come too”.

Who's the most promising?
Bulega is incredible for his age, he has great potential. My brother Luca is also surprising me, as are Baldassarri and Morbidelli in Moto2”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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