“I've managed to go quite slowly in both the wet and the dry”, Valentino tries to see the ironic side but he doesn't much feel like laughing. In the morning he was 16th, the afternoon in the rain 15th, definitely not what he expected.
“As we keep saying this year, everything changes each weekend, even though in the end, we always hope that won't happen - comments Rossi - Today was frustrating though, in the fry, when trying to set a fast lap, I didn't have confidence with the front, while in the wet I thought I'd do better”.
Let's take a step backwards and start with the morning, when the Doctor came to a stop at the side of his track with his M1.
“A small technical problem, the M1 switched off due to the safety system, but I couldn't get it back to the garage and lost both a set of tyres and a bike, the one with the new frame - he specifies - I didn't do so badly in the dry, I was able to maintain a good pace with the medium tyres, the race ones”.
Then, 10 minutes from the end, he put in soft tyres to try and reach the top ten and qualify for Q2.
“I went back out but wasn't confident with the front anymore, it kept closing on me, when that happens at this track you lose a lot of time - he explains - It was important to reach the top ten but there was no way”.
When he saw the rain in the afternoon he thought he could bounce back.
"Last year I was stronger in the wet, but today I couldn't push’- he says - It's not down to the track, but to us, the asphalt has no potholes and offers great grip. I think we're too far from the ideal bike balance in these conditions, we tried to make changes but haven't solved much”.
At this point, Valentino doesn't know whether to pray for sun or rain tomorrow.
“In the dry I might be able to try and enter Q2, otherwise it becomes more complicated - reflects Valentino - But on Sunday we might race in the wet and so would need to improve in those conditions too”.
The doubts right now outweigh the certs, contrary to his rivals. Particularly Ducati.
“They've got a great bike this year - recognises Valentino - They're consistently up front at every track and in all conditions, wet or dry. They will be difficult to beat”.