Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is having a tough Austrian GP so far. Pushed out of the top ten in FP1 – which as it turned out was the only dry session counting towards Q2 graduation – the Italian went through Q1, and then couldn’t move through…
That has happened before, as the ‘Doctor’ was left out in Phillip Island in 2016 – and got on the podium. But he says this time around, race pace isn’t quite there yet…
“During this weekend I was unlucky because the only dry session to get into Q2 was the Friday morning and I broke the bike after 3 laps, and on the other one I wasn’t strong enough. The other problem is that when we tried the soft tyre today I didn’t feel good. It doesn’t work well on our bike. I was able to improve my lap time but not a lot. I don’t feel comfortable and I didn’t get into Q2.
“In FP4, I have to say, my pace was nothing fantastic but it was average. So, we need to work for the race pace tomorrow a little bit and, after that the problem is that we start from the fifth row. From back there, there will surely be some confusion, everybody going crazy, so we have to overtake at the right moment, then we’ll see…”
In addition, after a tough day and weekend so far for Rossi and teammate Maverick Viñales, Yamaha offered an apology to the riders – this is what the rider from Tavullia thinks going forward.
“For me the important thing is not the excuse, the important thing is that they try to fix the problems. Like I’ve said before: if Yamaha want, they have the potential to fix the problem. It’s not easy in a short time but we can do it. More than the apology, they give the maximum to fix the bike.
“In the next two tests it will be difficult because we have to improve a situation that isn’t possible to fix with a small modification. We have to do something serious, so I don’t think that next week will be a big enough step. Maybe in two or three months. The problem is that we’ve been saying this for a year…”
See how the race goes on Sunday from 14:00 (GMT +2).