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After a more difficult FP1 in Texas for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, the 'Doctor' shot up the timesheets in the afternoon in a well-timed time attack towards the end of FP2 to end the day in P4.
With two podiums from two so far, the Italian will now focus on cementing his place in Q2 on Saturday morning, and then look for a good grid position to start working on the score he has to settle with the venue after a crash out of contention last season. Technical and 20 corners long, COTA still throws up some significant challenges such as braking - but it's a better start to round three for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider.
Valentino Rossi, P4: "On this track the winglets can help. We do a lot of accelerating from a low speed, but we also have a lot of change of directions, so we prefer to go with the normal fairing. It was a better start compared to the first two races, for sure, those were a disaster. I think this is very important for us, because we didn't change the bike a lot from the Argentina setting and tried to understand if the bike also works on this track, which is very different. Already this morning I was in the top10 and not far from first. It looks like we will be able to do some adjustments, but now we have a better understanding of the base setting. In the afternoon I did a good lap with the softer tyre, so I'm fourth, but we still have to work on the pace. Especially braking, it is difficult to stop, but for sure, compared to Qatar and Argentina, this is a better start. After Qatar I expected better results, but in Argentina I suffered a lot. There we really modified the balance of the bike a lot and now I have a better feeling. For me, we understood something important.”
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