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17 days ago
By Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi: "The top four have similar race pace”

Italian legend lines up on the front row for the #MalaysianGP ready for a battle at lights out

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had a solid strategy and impressive qualifying session at Sepang as the 9-time World Champion stayed out throughout to get the Michelin wet tyres up to temperature, then attacked on his final attempt to just take P2 from teammate Jorge Lorenzo at the flag. After pace in FP3 saw Rossi, Lorenzo, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) split by an incredibly small margin, the Italian would prefer a dry race – despite having good pace in the wet – and relishes the prospect of a four-way battle for the win in Malaysia.

Valentino Rossi (P2): “To start from the front row is always a good feeling and is important for the race. Today was a good day and I felt good from the beginning. I think everyone is hoping for a dry race tomorrow because we could have a good fight – we were fast but the top four were also very close with similar pace. The asphalt has great grip and less bumps, but it takes a long time to dry. You can push but you always have to concentrate on the wet patches. In the full wet or full dry I have good pace. It’s a very different approach to just stay out in qualifying, but in 15 minutes it’s usually difficult to arrive at the limit of the wet tyres, so we decided to ride all the way through. Then at the end I could get second, so it was a good strategy for us.”

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Rossi: "We improved a lot in Q2"

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