Rossi in the mix, qualifies top Yamaha in Brno

Valentino Rossi leads the challenge for Yamaha in qualifying for the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno; he starts seventh

VALENTINO ROSSI feels progress has been made in his quest to get back to winning ways after qualifying a solid seventh for the Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno.

A Saturday step forward compared to recent rounds, though Rossi enjoyed a trouble-free, if anonymous, afternoon in a damp Brno  he did have the satisfaction of qualifying as the highest-placed Yamaha rider for the first time since COTA.

Bemoaning a bike that is ‘not so fantastic; in wet conditions, Rossi was content with his spot on the third row and is more positive about his and the team’s chances in the dry.

"I was behind Miller, who was with the slicks, and he rode very well, he stayed on the dry line and also on the wet patches with the slick tyre he was fast," Rossi said.

"But unfortunately after, in the last chicane, it started to rain a little bit and he crashed. I think that he could make a good lap but anyway not as good as Marquez.

"Marquez very brave to fit slicks..."

"For sure you have to be very brave[to fit slicks], looks like the for us, with the M1, our bike is not fantastic in these conditions because it's very difficult to understand the limit.

"I wanted to try to put the slicks before, but unfortunately it was too wet. Then when I made my final pit stop for me it was too late [to change] because with just two laps with new slick tyres in these conditions, I'm sure I'm not able to improve.

"So, I just changed the rear [wet] and for me personally it was the right choice because I improved my position and I can start from the third row. It's not fantastic for sure, but it's a lot better than the last races because we are not so far from the top guys.

"Now the forecast for tomorrow is good, dry and sun, and we hope that we can have also a dry warm-up because like everybody we need to work a lot on the setting and especially the tyre choice.

"Tomorrow everything is open, especially the rear tyre. Everybody is a little bit worried because after some laps it starts to slide a lot."

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