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Valentino Rossi knows there is work to do for Sunday’s race at the French GP after his worst qualifying performance of the season.
Rossi was one of the first riders to exit pit lane as the lights went green. His first flying lap put him in third place until Lorenzo completed his first flying lap, pushing the Italian back to fourth. Eager to stay on the first row, he improved his time on his second try and moved back into the provisional top three with a 1‘32.829.
'The Doctor' quickly returned to his box, before heading back out with a little less than six minutes remaining to start his second stint. He rode a strong second and third sector on his next lap but was unable to set another personal best lap and was pushed back to sixth. Rossi put in two more laps, but was unable to improve and ended the session in seventh place. It will be the first time that Rossi has not started on the front two rows this season as he finished 0.854s off the pace of his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Jorge Lorenzo on pole.
His aim now will be to try and make some improvements in time for Sunday’s race, looking to record his first back to back wins in the premier class since 2009, with the French GP starting at 14:00 Local Time in Le Mans.
Valentino Rossi: “Unfortunately I made a lot of mistakes because we had different strategies that didn‘t work and I was stuck in traffic, I lost time. I had one chance at the end to improve my lap time, because my potential was a little bit faster and I could have stayed in the top five, I think, but I made a mistake on braking in turn six and went outside the track. It‘s a shame because we improved from yesterday and we are quite competitive in terms of race pace but I have to start from the third row. It looks like, if we want to have a really good race, we have to improve a bit because there are some areas that I‘m not strong enough. If we‘re able to make this jump, we will be able to do a good race, but it will be hard when you start from the third row.”
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