Rossi: “We improved the balance”

The ‘Doctor’ starts second and he says he may need to, foreseeing a more difficult day on Sunday

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) pulled a last minute corker out the bag in qualifying to take second and secure himself a front row start for the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky – just as he had done in FP3 to gain automatic graduation to Q2. But Rossi says there remains work to be done:

“We improved the balance of the bike from yesterday, and I knew from this morning that I could be strong with the new tyre. So, I tried to concentrate to find the right lap and I’m very happy for this second place and the front row, because unfortunately at this moment my pace is not fantastic for tomorrow’s race.”

When pushed on why, the rider from Tavullia says a lot comes down to tyre choice.

“In general, I’m not strong enough. We have to improve tonight and tomorrow morning for the Warm Up. We also have to make the right tyre choice and wait to see about the conditions. I want to try everything because nobody’s sure that you can use the soft in the race, so I want to try but for me it’s difficult. The soft has a lot of performance, now we have to check the data with the team and make the right choice.”

Many a Sunday miracle has happened at the hand of Rossi. Will it be another at Brno this weekend? Find out from 14:00 (GMT +2) when the lights go out at the venue where the nine-time World Champion took his first ever win – 22 years ago.