Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had a more difficult than expected Friday at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, finishing outside the top ten in a dry FP1 after a mechanical issue disrupted what could be the only dry session ahead of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
“For me the biggest problem is that I’m not in the top ten in the dry,” explained the ‘Doctor’, who lost out by 0.049 seconds to teammate Maverick Viñales. “Unfortunately, we had a problem with one bike and I had to stop, and I had to use the other bike, but the other bike had something different. I wasn’t able to arrive in the top ten unfortunately, and this could be an issue for tomorrow if the conditions are not 100% in the morning to improve the lap time.”
As forecast, the heavens then opened in the afternoon, with Rossi debuting a rear ‘spray deflector’ on his YZR-M1 Yamaha. This is something that worked, but the nine-time World Champion admitted he wasn’t fast enough in the wet conditions after finishing down in 10th, 2.332 off Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) quickest time.
“In the wet I’m not very fast, that (spray deflector) worked well, we tried to take some water out from the tyre because especially on this track we have a lot of aqua plaining, also in the straight so it’s quite difficult to control the bike. Now we have to try to understand, try to improve and we’ll see tomorrow.”
Will the rain hold off in FP3 to give Rossi another chance to propel himself into an automatic Q2 spot? Find out when the premier class head back out on the Red Bull Ring at 09:55 local time (GMT +2).