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Rossi unable to achieve front row target

9 November 2013

Valentino Rossi missed out on his target of a front row start for the Valencia MotoGP but the nine-time world champion was ultimately satisfied with fourth place on the grid.

Rossi held provisional third for a spell following a lap in 1m 30.920s but was demoted to fourth as Dani Pedrosa eventually completed the front row on the Repsol Honda.

The Factory Yamaha rider, who fastest lap was 0.257s down on Pedrosa, is feeling confident ahead of the final race of the season, even if the Italian legend has concerns over rear tyre choice.

"This morning we made some changes to the set-up of the bike and I was able to improve my pace and be more under control in braking and it was not so bad," said Rossi, who will split from crew chief Jerry Burgess after Sunday's race.

"This afternoon was quite good, for sure the target is to start on the front row, but fourth is a good place to start for the race and I think that I can do a bit better.

"I had some traffic with some people waiting and I lost one lap. But my laptime was good and for sure I am quite fast but the first three are very strong.

"We need to make some improvements for the setting and the rear tyre choice will be very important. We need to decide on whether to start on the soft or the hard. We need to wait and see what the other guys do.

"For me the hard slides too much on the rear so we need to modify the setting and tomorrow we'll try and do the best to stay close to the top."

Should Rossi opt for the softer rear tyre the extra initial grip should help him fight at the front early on, which could in turn benefit team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in his title battle with Marc Marquez.

Marquez, Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa will start ahead of Rossi on the front row.


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