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MotoGP, Rossi: Good first contact with Mugello

"A lot of riders with a fast pace, but I am one of them". On Pirro's accident: "It went well, hard to make that point safer"

MotoGP: Rossi: Good first contact with Mugello

The pessimism from Thursday gave way to cautious optimism on Friday and Valentino rediscovered a friendly track in Mugello. And 8th place in the morning and 7th place in the afternoon aren’t exactly a reason for fanfare, but they represent a base on which to build the stairway that leads to the podium. The Doctor doesn’t actually say the word, but he has the goal clearly in mind.

It was a rather positive day for me. I was fast both in the morning and in the afternoon. It was a good first contact – he begins – I am able to ride my M1 well and my pace is good too.”

Everything seems to be moving in the right direction…
The problem is that there are a lot of riders, at least 6 or 7, who are able to maintain a pace similar to mine. The good news is that I’m with them.”

What has changed compared to those tests that had worried you?
On that occasion I struggled more, but we didn’t find perfect conditions. Today I started from a setup similar to the one used in Le Mans and I felt better. Don’t forget that it is only Friday. We will need to take another step forward.

What do you need to work on?
The rear tyre slides too much in acceleration and after a few laps it becomes a problem. Tyre choice is definitely wide open and it will be crucial for the race.

Are you ready for the qualifiers?
“When I was trying for the time today I ran into traffic and made a few mistakes. I could have done better. It will definitely be important to take the right decisions tonight because there are a lot of fast riders and it will be a tough fight to go straight through to Q2.

Did you see the footage of Pirro’s accident?
Yes, and when I realised what spot it happened on and I saw him on the ground, I was frightened. You really go fast there and when you’re on the bike, it is one of the scariest spots of the entire season.

Do you have an idea about what happened to him?
I only saw the images on my mobile phone screen, but it doesn’t seem like Michele was pushing hard. Usually you brake 30 or 40 metres later than where he did. Probably, after some shaking, the brake pads spread. When he braked the first time he didn’t feel a response. He was frightened, considering the speed, and he pulled the lever even harder. At that point, he was launched in the air. At the end of the day, it went well.

How could safety be increased on the San Donato braking section?
I have no idea. The only way would be to flatten out a piece of the hill to reduce the drop. I don’t know if it is possible or if it is even a job that would achieve good results.

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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