There are two things that are bugging Valentino after the qualifying Saturday in Barcelona: the first is the 7th spot on the starting grid that stems from a mistake, and the second is the selection of front tyres to choose from that Michelin brought to this Grand Prix. “I think they got it wrong”, confirms the Doctor who, as occurred at Mugello, maintains that the right tyre for this track was not brought.
“Tomorrow I expect a strange race, as already happened in Italy - Rossi explains - The reason is that we do not have the right front tyre available to us: the soft is too soft, whereas the medium does not guarantee grip. It will probably take a lot of strategy.”
What is the cause?
“The problem is that Michelin did not bring the right front tyres and it was a mistake that could have been avoided, because we tested on this track. I had told them and there could have been another option for the front, midway between the soft and the medium that we have available to us, but they didn’t bring it.”
Is it all Michelin’s fault?
“I don’t know who and why chooses which tyres to bring. Michelin is doing a good job, but in the last few races, they got it wrong for the front tyre selection they make available to us.”
Is it a problem exclusively for Yamaha?
“I think that everyone is in difficulty. The feeling is that the fastest riders are the ones who struggle less with the tyres, but no one is perfectly okay. When there is only one tyre you can use, like what is happening now, depending on your riding style and the bike, you may struggle more or less.”
Does the situation get worse with the heat?
“Absolutely. In the morning, the track is fantastic, but when the asphalt hits 50°C, everything becomes difficult and grip at the front becomes critical. For tomorrow, I’ll have to hope for a cloudy day (laughing). Another unknown is how grip on the track will change after the Moto2 race. Sometimes it gets very slippery.”
And starting from the third row will not be an advantage…
“In fact, I cannot be happy about that because I could have aimed for the second row, which was realistically my goal. I could have done better in qualifying, but on turn 10 I braked 3 metres too late and went long on my best lap. I tried again, but I wasn’t able to improve enough.”
What are the values on the field?
“The two factory Ducati bikes and Marc Marquez are stronger than us, especially Lorenzo. Behind them, on the other hand, I see a group of riders with a very similar pace which includes me, Viñales Petrucci and Zarco. However, things could still change. It’s only Saturday.”
Will Lorenzo be able to repeat his performance after the win at Mugello?
“On paper, he can win. He has a faster pace than Dovizioso’s. Marquez might be the rider closest to Jorge.”
Speaking of Marquez, did you see his latest save?
“I watched it carefully. I think it is the result of his characteristics and the bike’s. On one hand, when the front end doesn’t close up on the Honda, it doesn’t touch the ground with the fairing. On the other hand, Mark rides placing his body between the bike and the asphalt and he is able to save it that way. However, doing it is not so simple.”