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Rossi: ‘Problem to fix before Phillip Island’

Rossi: ‘Problem to fix before Phillip Island’

Valentino Rossi said a rear grip issue prevented him from challenging for the podium at Estoril.

Having concluded Sunday’s Portuguese MotoGP contest 23 seconds behind his team-mate and championship rival Jorge Lorenzo in fourth place, off the Estoril podium for the first time in his premier class career, Valentino Rossi cited rear grip problems for his lack of competitiveness at round 14.

The Italian star was in an unfamiliarly downbeat mood as he reviewed a race which saw his championship advantage cut to 18 points. “It was a very difficult race for me,” Rossi said. “I was never able to be fast because I did not have enough grip in the rear and our tyre did not work well, but I think it was more a problem of setting. After a few laps I was in great difficulties and I immediately understood that this was not going to be our race.”

He continued, “Throughout the practice sessions I had some problems but I thought that today I would be able to at least stay with Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, but they made another step forward for the race and then there was no chance for me. On Friday I was three tenths off the pace and unfortunately this stayed the same all weekend and in the race today.”

Concluding his post-race assessment the World Champion commented, “Here in Estoril we struggled last year as well, so it might be that, with our setting, the rear tyre gets very hot and this causes a lack of grip. It is a pity that I am off the podium, but we have three more races. We must think race by race and we must work to understand what the problem was today in order to make sure that we fix it in time for Phillip Island.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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