Valentino Rossi received a wooden spoon for his third consecutive Grand Prix. An award that no one likes, especially the Doctor at his home race, "where getting on the podium is special. I was hoping to succeed, but that wasn't the case." The simple truth. After an encouraging weekend, Rossi failed to be incisive in the race.
Was it a cold shower?
"On the contrary. It went more or less as I expected. The first three, Marquez, Quartararo, and Vinales, were faster than me the entire weekend, and also in the race. I didn't have the pace to keep up with them. There were moments on the track where I was able to be effective. I tried to improve, but I wasn't able to."
What's the outcome?
"A fourth place can also be seen positively, but the problem was the gap from the top 3. Too big (ed. 12 seconds separate Valentino from the winner). This means we have work to do."
Marquez stated that what happened yesterday in qualifying with you gave him more motivation.
"I don't need to fight to be more motivated. I think Marquez was happier because he was able to beat Quartararo. He knows he'll be a tough opponent for him in the next championship. He's younger and faster. I had nothing to do with it."
Isn't it, so to speak, embarrassing that Yamaha, which fought for the victory, is the least innovative and ridden by a rookie?
"Fabio is having an incredible season, and this was his best race. He should be congratulated."
The four Yamahas positioned themselves in the top 5, but you and Morbidelli worked harder.
"That's true. Franco and I were more in trouble, especially in acceleration. You say it's because we're taller? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I don't know. What's clear is that we have to continue to work and find a solution.”
It's not a new problem...
"On the contrary, I've had it since the beginning of the season. From this point of view, I've always struggled more than Quartararo, but also Vinales. After the summer break, we had changed the balance of the bike and managed to improve, but not enough. It's not enough to work on electronics, but we also have to find more mechanical grip."
Doesn't the carbon swingarm help in this sense?
“The innovations brought by Yamaha all go in the right direction. I like them, but they don't make a huge difference. That said, Quartararo and Vinales were faster today because they rode better. The good thing is that all the M1s did well on this track, while the other bikes had more problems."
The levels on the field seem to change at every race. How do you explain that?
In 2016, with the arrival of Michelin and the introduction of the single ECU, there was a bit of confusion. That year, there were even 9 different winners in the race. Then the situation had leveled out, until to this year. I honestly don't know why. I was surprised to see Ducati in trouble after dominating last year. The same with Suzuki, after winning at Silverstone. I'll leave you to decide, but a lot depends on the relationship between tires, bike, and track."
The next will be Aragon, in a few days. What do you expect?
"It's usually a difficult track for us, but I'm coming from 3 forth places. I haven't been far from the podium. Yamaha is doing well. I hope we can be more competitive than we were in the past."