Seeing Valentino start from the sixth row is not something that happens every day. In fact, going back through the statistics, you’ll see that the Doctor has done worse than this 16th place in Valencia very rarely in his career. In Aragón this year he was 17th, whereas in 2006 he was 18th qualifying at Assen. These are numbers that no rider likes, but even more so today with his teammate in pole position.
“The truth is that there is only one good M1 and we trade it back and forth from race to race: Maverick had it on Phillip Island and I had it in Sepang, so this weekend it was his turn - the Doctor laughed before getting serious - All joking aside, I think that it is simply by chance that when I do well, Viñales is more in difficulty and vice versa. Today he was better than me on the dry.”
After the performance yesterday in the wet, Rossi thought that today would end much differently than it did.
“I was also optimistic - he admitted - but instead it was a difficult day. In FP3 I wasn’t fast and I also crashed. I hit my shoulder and, due to an old injury, now I feel some pain, but I don’t have any problems riding.”
It’s a good thing, because Valentino and his men will need to get busy to turn the situation around in time for the race.
“Today I never had good sensations in the saddle, so we’ll need to work and then wait to see what the race conditions will be - Rossi continued - Starting from so far back will make everything more complicated, but yesterday in the heavy rain things went well. Everything will depend on the pace we are able to maintain.”
The problems with the M1 are clear, they just need to be solved.
“I am in a lot of trouble in braking. The front wheel tends to lock up and I always arrive at the turn to fast, plus I don’t have traction in acceleration and riding like that becomes difficult” he explained.
The way things stand now, the 3rd place position in the championship seems like a pipe dream.
“Unfortunately for me, Maverick is starting from the pole and I am only 2 points ahead of him - Valentino reflected - We ned to focus on improving the setup and hope that we race in the wet or in the dry. I don’t like those half-and-half conditions.”
Then, with the race filed away, he’ll think about the future, well aware that the final results of this season have not been positive.
“The last two years in Yamaha have been the most difficult from the technical point of view since I’ve been racing with them” he said.
Thinking of the past, the Doctor commented on the return to racing of his former rival Gibernau, who will be in MotoE next year.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect it, because it has been a long time since Sete has raced - he said - His presence will make this class even more interesting. There are also a lot of Italian riders and then Maria Herrera. I’m curious to see them in action.”