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Rossi: "Tyre choice critical for Sunday"

Rossi: "Tyre choice critical for Sunday"

Yamaha Factory Racing head into Saturday’s Losail qualifying session with the second and fourth fastest bikes, according to the timesheets so far. However both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo point out a number of variables.

Friday’s third free practice brought the conclusion of those sessions that have a direct bearing on qualifying, as the top ten are automatically promoted to Q2 on Saturday.

“The practices were not so bad, but we are continuing to work for the race,” said Rossi, the slower of the two riders on Friday. “We still have to decide which tyre to use; that will be very important for Sunday. We are ready for tomorrow for qualifying, to try and start as far in front as possible and aim for the front row.”

Lorenzo almost topped the timesheets on Friday but was pipped to the post by Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Márquez, who moved ahead by one thousandth of a second.

“I’m very happy with the changes we made on the bike because it improved a lot,” declared the reigning world champion. “In the last moments the track was better this evening, as in the beginning it was very dirty.

“I think we can still improve the bike more tomorrow. We still haven’t decided which chassis is better; today it is the new one, yesterday the old one. I’m very curious to see how the qualifying goes with the new formula - we will just be concentrating on doing four fast laps and the maximum performance we can get.”

Although Yamaha has promised no wall between the two sides of its garage this year – as was the case when Rossi and Lorenzo last raced alongside each other in 2010 – the Losail garage is somewhat divided due to a permanent concrete divider.

MotoGP, 2013, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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