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By Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi: “I think the top seven can fight for the podium”

Nine-time World Champion sees big competition at Brno

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) starts second in the Czech GP, and the veteran Italian says that small advantage could prove crucial on race day after assessing his rivals. The top seven riders on the grid are contenders for the podium according to the rider from Tavullia – amongst which are all five 2017 title hopefuls, down to teammate Maverick Viñales in P7.

Key rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sits just ahead on pole, but the gap was less than a tenth and Rossi is ready to race – hoping the skies stay dry.

Valentino Rossi, P2: “The weekend was not so bad. Yesterday I felt quite comfortable, today we improved and at the end of FP3 I saw I had good speed with the softer tyre. So I tried in qualifying to get on the front row – and qualifying was good! I enjoyed it, the bike wasn’t so bad and the last lap was a good one. Starting on the front row is important for tomorrow because I think the top seven can fight for the podium. So the small advantage of starting on the front row could be important. I think the tyre choice is open and depends on the temperature. The important thing is to understand the conditions tomorrow – it looks like the forecast isn’t fantastic but I hope for a dry race, although in FP1 in the wet I was quite strong.”

Rossi: "My target was the front row"