Rossi: We arrive from a difficult moment

Valentino Rossi explains that changes to “the balance of the bike” saw his pace improve before his shortly lived Dutch Grand Prix.
Rossi: We arrive from a difficult moment

Valentino Rossi has admitted he arrives in Germany for the ninth round of the 2019 MotoGP season from “a difficult moment” but is keen to understand whether the change made before the race at Assen will be applicable at the Sachsenring.

The 40-year crashed out of the Dutch Grand Prix after taking out Takaaki Nakagami five laps in. Adjustments to the “balance of the bike” meant Rossi was feeling more competitive in the race after disastrous sessions on Friday and Saturday.

The Sachsenring offers a chance to remedy his recent issues; Rossi finished second here a year ago – his best result of 2018 – and comes with a keenness to understand if he can “be more competitive” than Assen.

“We arrive from a difficult moment,” said Rossi. “In Barcelona I was quite competitive but I was unlucky. But at Mugello and Assen, two circuits where I am usually competitive, I suffer and I was very slow for all the weekend. More or less we had the same problems.

“But we had a chance because at Assen on Sunday we modify something in the balance of the bike. I don’t have a very good feeling in the fast parts to ride at the maximum. In the race I felt good. I was already a lot faster when compared to the practice.

“But I crashed and did just five laps. We started from there to understand here if we can be more competitive.

“Here the track is completely different but for example last year I was not so bad. It’s always difficult, a strange track and very particular. But we’ll try to understand if we can be towards the front.”

Rossi’s struggles at Assen were a contrast to team-mate and eventual winner Maverick Viñales as well as rookie Fabio Quartararo, who placed either first or second in every session bar the race.

Asked whether Quartararo’s team-mate Franco Morbidelli’s data was more relevant to Rossi, who is considerably taller than the other three Yamaha men, he offered, “Franco is the most similar to me but anyway he’s a bit shorter.

“I don’t know exactly he follows but it looks like, compared to Quartararo and Maverick, Franco was a little bit in trouble during the weekend. But at the end he was able to do a good race. But I don’t know exactly his way.

“We tried to follow our way and try and understand if we feel better with the bike here.”