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By Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi: "Second place is more important than normal"

The ‘Doctor’ fights through the pain barrier for a front row start at Mugello

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start his home Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley from P2 and the middle of the front row, despite the number 46 riding through the pain barrier following a motocross crash in training ahead of the event.

After a tough Friday, Rossi was back at the sharp end on Day 2. And, despite a low-drama crash ahead of qualifying, the nine-time World Champion put it on the front row behind only teammate Maverick Viñales, ready to push even harder on Sunday in front of the home crowd.

Rossi: "It's been a very emotional day"

Valentino Rossi, P2: “It was a difficult week, starting from last Thursday. Very tough. I had the crash in training, and sincerely until Tuesday I didn’t think it was possible to race, and I was very sad. To be here and when my condition got a bit better it’s like a gift. So I have to give the maximum to have a good race, and for the fans. I had a lot of pain and it was difficult to concentrate and do my best – and I also didn’t feel good on the bike. For us it’s also important if in Le Mans we understood where to go, but I was optimistic. Today I was always quite strong from the morning, good pace and on used tyres, and at the end I did a really good lap. This afternoon was good with a good feeling, but unfortunately I made a mistake and went off – I lost a bit of feeling, but this second place is more important than normal because from me to the second row we’re very close, and I think the race tomorrow will be very tough. I’m getting better day by day with a good recovery, and I don’t have pain when I ride – but I need more time to recover. I think the race will be harder than normal but I hope I can recover again for tomorrow like I did since yesterday for today.”