10th place in qualifying is Valentino Rossi's worst result in Brno in his entire career. Before today, he had never started beyond a 7th place, and the result of the afternoon was a sort of a cold shower, because he had entered the Q2 easily in the morning.
“Today, I felt different sensations," the Doctor explained. "I was very fast, especially in the morning. I felt good on the bike and with the tires. Then, in the afternoon, the temperatures rose, the asphalt was 10 degrees higher than yesterday and, unfortunately, I started to struggle. I continued to use the medium compound for the front tire, but it was too soft in the heat.”
The math is easy.
“A tenth position at the start is bad news," he concluded. "My pace is good, but there are many fast riders, and it'll be difficult to manage the rear tire. Honestly, I was hoping for a third row. Now we have to do everything perfectly… and we also need a bit of luck!”.
To get where?
“I see getting the podium difficult," the Doctor admitted. "But we have to always try. The important thing will be to make a good start, in order to be able to stay close to the best, because I have the pace to do so."
However, once again, the two Yamahas of the Petronas team are in the front row.
“If we look at it this way, it won't be bad for me to go there," he said, laughing. "Seriously though, there are good people working on the team. They have a sponsor with a lot of money, which is important They're well organized, and Yamaha gives them great support. So, even when it comes to their engineers, they're not a secondary team. But the other riders made a difference today. I don't think the Petronas team is better than the factory team, but Morbidelli and Quartararo drove better. Returning to me. I talked a lot with Yamaha about my desire to continue, and the're happy. I asked them for good technical support, and I know I'm joining a top-level team.”
Speaking of satellite teams, the front row is monopolized, and the poleman, Zarco, was even riding a Ducati from last year.
"The French fans will be happy today. I don't think they've ever had two riders in front of everyone in the MotoGP qualifying. Fabio is probably giving Johann a lot of motivation," Valentino said.
Then he talked about the situation in Ducati. “Sometimes, when the engineers develop the bike on the computer, the data says it's better. But, when the riders get on it, they feel worse. I know this well because it's happened many times in Yamaha in the past years. It's a good thing that it also happens to others. Even the new Honda seems more difficult to ride than the previous one," he said, smiling. However, it's never great when it happens. It's as if you lose the magic you had, and the old bike is better than the new one in the end.”
Yamaha, however, didn't make a mistake with the 2020 M1 this time. Although there are those who give a lot of credit to the tires.
"Michelin's new tire is better than last year's. It has more grip and makes the bike easier to ride, but I expected it to be the same for everyone," Rossi explaine. "In my opinion, however, Yamaha made the difference. Since last June, it has changed many people in-house, because there had been no improvements in the previous two years. They decided to try harder, and now the M1 is better. It still suffers at top speed, but it has a nice balance.”
Maverick Vinales: "I made a mistake in my strategy in qualifying, it's my fault"
If Valentino is not satisfied with his 10th place on the grid, Vinales is not happy with his 5th. The Spanish rider ended up facing some unprecedented problems on the Yamaha and has not yet found a solution.
“It's going to be a complicated race," Maverick admitted. "I wanted to try a different strategy in qualifying. I felt fantastic on the bike. I went back to the pits and didn't have time to do another lap. It was my fault, the team has nothing to do with it, but it's a shame because I could have been 2nd.”
One of the most popular topics is tire grip, but Vinales preferred to skirt the issue.
“Two years ago, I decided not to talk about tires anymore. We have these, and we need to understand how to make the most of them. But, these days, the M1 was moving a lot. I had never had this problem before, and we have to understand why, even if things went back to normal in qualifying. However, I'm optimistic about the race. The goal remains to get up fron as soon as possible.”