The good news for Valentino is that it's only a few days between the Assen disaster and the Sachsenring race. At times, getting straight back in the saddle is the best cure. Three consecutive 'zeros' would weigh on any rider, even more so on Rossi perhaps, as he struggles to be fast with his old M1 friend.
There is hope in the Doctor's eyes though, as he felt some improvement during the first few laps of the Dutch race, prior to his crash. But a few kilometres are not enough to quell the doubts.
“It's a difficult time - he admits- At Barcelona I was able to be quite competitive but then I suffered at Mugello and Assen, two tracks where I usually do well. I was slow and suffered the same issues at both”.
Something changed during the Assen warm-up though.
“We made some changes to the balance of the bike - he reveals - and in the race I was able to be a lot faster. That only lasted a few laps though, due to my mistake”.
So, the hope is that this wasn't a fluke and that moves in the right direction are being made.
“We'll start from where we left off there, to understand whether that set-up will allow me to be competitive. I know this track is totally different to Assen, it's unique, but last year I went well. In fact it was one of my best races of the season”.
A turnaround is needed, particularly considering the performance of the other Yamaha riders. Considering his physique, taking a look at Morbidelli's data may be of use.
“Franco is quite similar in build to me, just a little shorter. but I don't know exactly what path he's following. He also struggled more than Vinales and Quartararo at Assen, but he still put together a good race. Rather than focus on others, I need to follow my own path”.
And hope that it leads to the right destination, as breaking for the holidays on a positive note is important.
“It's hard to say what I'll be pleased with, in terms of a specific result I mean. But you immediately know how competitive you are, whether you be in the top ten and get straight through to Q2. The Sachsenring is a tough track, you have to manage the tyres and I think we'll see some highs and lows during practice”.
In the end, it all comes down to having the right sensations.
“That's what I need to find after two complicated rounds. I couldn't ride well, I was slow through the turns and I think it's a balance issue”.
Tomorrow he'll have the answers he's looking for.