Rossi: Now I can ride in my way

Valentino Rossi may have only placed tenth in MotoGP FP2, but found his mood was much improved from Assen…
Rossi: Now I can ride in my way

Valentino Rossi described Friday’s MotoGP action at the Sachsenring as “quite positive” as he re-found comfort aboard his Yamaha M1. “It’s more my bike,” he said. “I can ride in my way.”

The Italian was just tenth fastest in FP2, 0.8s slower than pace setter Marc Marquez, but admitted the effect of fitting a new soft rear tyre at the end of the afternoon did not provide the improvements he expected.

But the changes made before the race at Assen five days ago appeared to have paid off. Rossi’s pace was strong and countryman Andrea Dovizioso noted the speed on the M1 when following him during FP2.

“He didn’t make a lap at the end of the practice but at the beginning he was really fast,” said the Ducati man. “In the way that he rode it’s really for the race.”

“The day was not too bad,” said Rossi. “It was quite positive because my pace with the race tyres is not so bad. I’m quite happy. I can ride the bike in a better way. The feeling with the bike is better.

“Unfortunately with the soft tyre I was not able to improve like I want and I am just tenth. This is a problem. We need to improve this. But the feeling improve and my pace is not so bad.”

What was the difference between Assen and here? “Mugello and Assen… We try to forget Mugello. Assen was very, very difficult weekend when I struggled everywhere. I was very slow.

“For Sunday we make some differences in the set-up and in Assen I felt better finally in the race before a mistake. Today we continue like this. The situation is better. It’s more my bike. I can ride in my way and I have a better feeling to push, also in the fast part.

“I feel better. My pace with the race tyres is quite good. For sure we have to work a lot in the way to ride and on the bike, but for sure the start is better.”

While Rossi’s pace appeared strong, so, too, did that of Yamaha’s rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo, who was third at the end of the day.

On what the 20-year old Frenchman does well, Rossi observed, “He ride very well. He have very good lines. He use the M1 in the right way, so he’s good. When I follow Quartararo for me I have always the feeling he have more grip than me. But we don’t know why. He’s just fast.”

Rossi was one of several riders to be summoned to Race Direction at the close of the day due to a number of riders riding slowly when the rapid Jack Miller and Maverick Viñales approached.

Clarifying his point of view on the incident, Rossi added, “They call us because I think Miller and Viñales arrive for the fast lap but there were a lot of bike so they have to slow down.

“I was in the group but looking at the image I was completely out of the line. I don’t give any problem to Jack or Maverick. For me no problem.

“Anyway they want to speak to us about tomorrow because it will be very difficult. The track is short and we have a lot of bikes. They tell us to keep a lot of attention. If tomorrow you are in the way of a fast lap you will get a penalty.

“We have to be very, very careful with the fast guys and also it’s a question of luck and unlucky. The track is very tight and if you’re in the wrong place it’s difficult to disappear.

“But we have to be prepared to give the maximum tomorrow morning but also pay attention, which is what is expected.”