It was a day at school on the Barcelona circuit, with the riders focused primarily on solving the tyre puzzle. In any case, Valentino took satisfaction in being fastest during the morning session, “and it is always a nice feeling” he commented, whereas Lorenzo was fastest in the afternoon. The Majorcan, after winning the GP of Italy, has attracted some special attention.
“At Mugello he did very well and that could have been a turning point in his championship – Rossi pointed out – Looking at the times, today he was fastest and he is certainly one to watch.”
Even for the final victory?
“Counting Jorge out of the title fight would be a stupid thing to do. Marquez has a bit of an advantage in the standings, but the battle for second place is very close.”
Do you think you will be able to defend yourself on this track?
“This morning I managed to turn a good lap, whereas in the afternoon I focused more on the tyres. Even more than on other circuits, making the right choice here will be very important. You can practically use all three options on the rear for the race and on the front each one has its pros and cons. You just need to see which one is the best for you.”
Have you already figured it out?
“Not entirely yet, I need to do a few more miles, but in any case, for a Friday I already have good sensations in the saddle and my pace is fast too. However, as often happens, there are a lot of fast riders.”
What do you think of the new asphalt?
“This morning it was rather dirty and I did not expect that, but the situation improved gradually so in the afternoon we were lucky that we didn’t hit crazy temperatures. It has good grip and riding here is pleasant.”
What are the problems you need to solve on your bike right now?
“I have a bit of understeering, especially on the slow turns, but mainly I need to figure out which tyre to use and then adapt the bike’s balance.”
We also saw a brand new bored rear fender on your M1…
“It is a solution that should lower tyre temperature, but to be honest, I don’t feel the difference in the saddle. The key is to get the tyres to work right without stressing them and we are trying everything.”
It seems that the tyres are the main topic of conversation…
“Tyre selection is more important now than it ever has been. With the Bridgestones, we often did not have the problem and all the riders used the same tyre. The Michelins, on the other hand, give you a choice, even more than we had ten years ago.”
Are you saying that on paper, you could race on any of the tyres?
“Yes, each one has its pros and cons. You need to decide based on your own bike, on your own riding style, on the settings and also on which strategy you want to use. It is all wide open.”