The 14th position in the rankings on Friday at Le Mans certified that Valentino is the worst Yamaha rider. "But in Austin and Argentina I was the best," the Doctor recalled with a smile. "This means that we need to find the solution because I also struggled in Jerez. The other M1s are strong here. I'm thinking of Quartararo but, above all, of Vinales, who is not only first but also has a great pace."
Instead, Yamaha number 46 struggled. Yesterday, Rossi had promised that he would try to start with an attack, but things didn't go according to his plans. And as if that wasn't enough, even bad luck - if you can call it that - played against him.
"I expected to start stronger, but it turned out to be a difficult day," admitted Valentino. "I hadn’t had fantastic sensations about the M1 since the morning, and I had that problem with the chain that made me waste time."
"Good question. Chains don't usually break. Maybe someone made a mistake."
Apart from that inconvenience, what is the biggest problem?
"I'm especially lacking traction, and that's why I lose a lot when exiting corners, not only in relation to other bikes, but also in relation to Maverick. We're working to try to improve in that area."
Did you succeed?
"I started the second practice session by trying something different on the bike and, at first, it didn't seem to go that bad. Then I realized that something was still missing. I tried another solution that I didn't like and, in the end, we went back."
But you were still out of the Q2...
"We wasted time with the tests, and we arrived long for the time attack. I managed to do only one lap. I missed the checkered flag by a few seconds. I probably could have improved if I had another lap available."
What's the plan?
"To hope that it doesn't rain tomorrow and be able to improve my time but, above all, the bike."
And if it rains?
"It would be like starting over from scratch. We haven't ridden on water in a long time but, last time, last year in Valencia, I was competitive. Since then, the bike has changed and, theoretically, it should have improved, but we'll have to try it to be sure."