Rossi: "I studied Folger's race"

The Italian secured his best result of the season at the German GP with a little help from Folger's 2017 performance

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) picked up his best result of the season at the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland after taking the checkered flag in second place, this after the Italian ended Friday practice down in 17th.

“I was very frustrated because I didn’t feel well with the bike, but we tried something a little different and in MotoGP it’s like this, you are within one second and you’re 17th,” explained Rossi, who improved his time on Saturday to eventually qualifying sixth and then improved again in Sunday’s race, saying afterwards that he had studied what Jonas Folger had done last season at the Sachsenring when the German finished second.

“Folger last year did an incredible race, at the level of Marc, he stayed there and he fought. So, I studied all his race and all his lines, the way he rides and which way he set up the bike and I think it was a good help, so I have to give him the trophy.”

Rossi continued, “I’m so happy because this is the best result of the season but especially it was the best race for me, I never made any mistakes for the 30 laps and I did the maximum, I’m so happy for me and all the team. I know that the start was crucial and I did a great one, I was ‘BAM!’ on the lights and in the first laps I tried to push because I was good,” said ‘The Doctor’, slotting into P4 in the opening laps before getting past Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).

“I was in the right place at the right moment, I did a very good overtake on Petrucci and I also overtook Lorenzo because he made a small mistake. At the end I tried with Marc, he wasn’t very far but he was faster than me.”

A couple of laps after overtaking the number 99, Lorenzo and Rossi had a sketchy moment on the brakes into Turn 1, with the red machine seemingly starting to struggle with front tyre grip. “I think I lost half a second in the front straight because with our bike I was able to go very fast in the corner but on the acceleration the Ducati is impressive. I think Lorenzo nearly touched me because he arrived nearly 30/40kph faster than me, but I wanted to stay in front because he had the soft front and I hoped that he would suffer and I was a bit faster.”

And stay in front he did, with P2 now meaning he sits 46 points behind Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as the paddock heads for a two-week summer break. But does the nine-time World Champion still think a tenth is possible this season?

“For sure this is the target, always,” Rossi confirms. “It will be difficult because at this moment Marc is faster than me, but we work very hard and we need more support from the Japanese because we need to improve the acceleration with the electronics, because the other bikes are better in that area. The season is still long and we hope for some updates.”