Looking at the time sheets, Valentino Rossi’s first day at Brno, at least on the dry track, seems to have been a disaster. His name is in 14th place, a full second behind the leader. However, sometimes appearances are misleading. At least that’s what the Doctor says.
“The position is very bad, like has already happened other times this year, but the sensations are good - he points out - Let me explain. In FP2, I had a technical problem on one bike and I switched to the other, putting on the same tyres – intermediates that were already used because I had to compare the settings. That is why I didn’t improve at the end.”
So the situation is under control.
“In the hopes that tomorrow morning is dry, otherwise I’ll have to do Q1 - he warns - I still need to work on the M1, especially on the balance, but I already feel good in the saddle and my pace is not at all bad. Besides a few aches and pains, the long break did not make me suffer, partially because I have been watching videos for the last 10 days to remember how to ride” he jokes.
The first free practice session was held in the wet and it did not go badly. Valentino had finished with the 5th best time.
“I’m rather happy with that session, because with the previous frame this year I always struggled in the wet - he remembers - Instead, in the morning I had good sensations and that is important because the weather forecast for Sunday is terrible.”
However, qualifying comes first and Rossi knows that he will need to take a clear step forward.
“Tomorrow everyone will be faster and I would like to get a better feel for my potential - he says - Right now, my fastest rivals seem to be Marquez, Pedrosa and Crutchlow, in other words, the riders who tested here, but Folger also did very well.”
The Doctor reserves his last comment for the Ducati fairing.
“I don’t want to criticize the rule, right or wrong as it may be, but the intent was to remove the appendages from the bikes and it seems to me that it solved very little. I’m sure that the engineers really like playing with these winglets” he laughs.
VIÑALES: I CAN’T GET THE BIKE TO TURN - Viñales is not in as much of a joking mood, also out of the Top Ten with his 11th time in FP2. If sensations are positive for his teammate despite his position, the same cannot be said for the Spaniard.
“I was happy in the morning. With a few adjustments to the settings and electronics I was feeling good in the wet - he recounts - In the afternoon, on the other hand, I struggled more: I can’t get the bike to turn and I am not sure why.”
This is the puzzle that Maverick and his team need to solve.
“Folger and Zarco are ahead. I am definitely lacking something right now, but I don’t know what it is - he continues - It is probably nothing huge, but it makes the difference. Today I was unable to ride fast.”
Viñales, unlike today, has now used two different frames – the new evolution and the previous version.
“Tomorrow I’ll decide which of the two to continue with, but I still don’t know which it will be. First I want to talk to my team.”