One swallow does not the springtime make, but a 3rd place time is a breath of fresh air after too many races with his head underwater. Even if it is only Friday, Le Mans also seems to be tailor fitted for the Yamaha and for Valentino. In times of famine, every bone must be licked clean and the Doctor knows that every opportunity must be seized.
“It was a positive day. Even if it is only the first of this weekend, it is always important to be at the front - Rossi says - Both in the morning and in the afternoon, I was rather fast: in Le Mans, with this asphalt, the M1 works well. My pace is also good, even with used tyres.”
The French track seems like just what the doctor ordered for a Yamaha in difficulty. Proof of this is that Valentino leads a trio of M1 machines from 3rd to 5th place.
“To be honest, things went better than I had expected, at least for the time being - the Doctor confesses - I say that because at Mugello, during the tests, I was not fast enough and that is also a track where the Yamaha has always done well. So I expected to struggle more here too.”
Instead, that luckily did not happen. However, this does not mean that the M1’s problems have been solved.
“The bike I used today is identical to the one I raced in Jerez. What changed? The temperatures, the asphalt and the track layout. That’s it - the Doctor explains - However, I think that we will be competitive at Mugello too.”
First they must focus on the French Grand Prix.
“We still have a lot of work to do - he warns - Tyre choice will be very important. This morning I turned a lot of laps with the soft rear, but it seems to be an option a bit at the limit for us. If someone is able to use it, it could be an advantage.”
Before excusing himself, Valentino says a few more words on as many other issues involving him. The first is the team that will have satellite Yamaha bikes next year.
“I spoke about this with the Japanese just this morning - he says - They would prefer to have four bikes on the track and I also hope that will be the case. It would be better for development and to have more data available.”
The second is Bulega, who is going through a period of poor results.
“When Nicolò arrived in the championship, we all expected a lot of him - he explains - In his rookie year, he did very well, and then he began to struggle. I don’t think it is a psychological problem. I see him training every day and he is very fast on the bike. I think it is an adaptation problem. He must not give up and hopefully he will improve and achieve the results that he needs.”