As time goes on, it's possible to see Valentino pleased with a 6th place finish, as we did today in fact, at the Red Bull Ring, “sure you always leave home dreaming of the podium, but then you're happy to place; this is the problem” summarises the Doctor. The Yamaha seems to be lost, Rossi the strongest on track, though the fact he crossed the line fourteen seconds behind the winner speaks volumes about the current competitiveness of the M1.
“I'm quite pleased with this race, in the end I had fun and did the best I could. unfortunately, I was starting too far back and my pace wasn't fantastic. I made a good start and was able to disentangle myself through the first two corners, a tricky situation. In the warm-up we made a change to the set-up that I liked, it didn't improve performance but allowed me to be more consistent on the used tyre”.
Did it go as you expected?
"A little better, I hoped for 7th and finished 6th. I was able to make some passes, I consider it a good race”.
Did you touch rock bottom this weekend?
“There are tracks where we suffer more, and those where we suffer less, I hope to be more competitive in the next races”.
Enough to defend second place in the championship?
“I'm still 12 points ahead of Lorenzo, but realistically speaking, I think the Ducatis will beat us as they are close and faster than us. I'd like to fight for the podium, but Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Marquez are stronger than us. It will be tough but we have to try”.
Next week you'll test at Misano, and then Aragon, do you expect a turnaround?
“Not really, the important thing will be to test some things ahead of the races, particularly Misano, my home track. I don't think we'll see anything big in the space of just a few days. First we have to focus on Silverstone, a track I like and where I thought I could win last year. I think we can be fast”.
Yesterday, Tsuya publicly apologised to you riders, do you think a change at the top is required?
“I can't answer that question, I work for Yamaha and have to focus on just giving it my all, and providing the right indications. I think we can improve with the people we have now”.
Are the electronics the only issue?
“Not the only one, I think the engine is partly to blame too, but it's difficult to understand to what extent”.
You're reacting in a different way to Vinales, you're more optimistic…
“Experience makes a difference, it's not the first time I've experiencing difficulties in my career. Maverick isn't lost, he still knows how to ride a bike, as soon as the M1 improves he can win again”.