The track has changed but not the problem and so Valentino Rossi, also at Jerez, is down at the bottom of the standings, very low indeed. The 21st time is the mirror of a labyrinth from which the Doctor seems unable to find the exit, while the other Yamahas are in the top 5 after the first two free practice sessions.
"This has been a difficult day, I am unable to be fast enough - he was forced to admit - In the flying lap I also went on the green, but I would have recovered only 2 or 3 positions, the pace is slightly better, but nothing fantastic" .
The reason for this crisis is well-known…
“I lack grip on the rear, the tyre slides too much - he repeated - In recent years I have suffered from this problem, especially since the tyres have become so soft, while in my career I have always preferred hard tyres. But these are the tyres, the other riders manage to be fast and it's up to me to manage them ”.
He tried it again today, but without success…
“I tried two bikes with different set-ups, but my feelings were similar with both and we couldn't solve the problem. We have to keep working, but we don't have many other ideas left - he spread his arms out - We tried different things but I'm still in trouble. Track conditions should improve tomorrow, maybe this will help me, and then I'll try the hard rear tyre, in Portimao it went better with that compound ”.
Two years ago Valentino decided to focus on Munoz as his crew chief, the working method in the garage has changed but it hasn't been of much use, for now.
"With Galbusera I spent a lot of time looking at the data, not only mine but also those of the other Yamaha riders - explained Rossi - David told me to focus more on riding, he has a different way of working, and I have done that. Now I know less about the setting I use, but that's not what has changed things. I believe that these softer tyres require a different riding style and set-up, we are trying to find them ”.
However, he needs to hurry, because these first races will be fundamental in Valentino's decision whether or not to continue racing in 2022.
“I don't feel any pressure for that. I'm fine physically too, my only problem is that I'm not fast, there are no other problems” he tried to play down the situation with a laugh.