Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo both believe Valentino Rossi can overcome his tenth place start and be a contender for victory in his home Mugello MotoGP race.

Italian legend Rossi was left on row four after making a 'big mistake' in changing to a softer front tyre for his final qualifying run. Prior to qualifying the Movistar Yamaha rider had shown a strong race pace in free practice.

Reigning champion Marquez, who will be looking to add a perfect sixth win of the season from his sixth pole, said:

Related Articles

"Of course it was a surprise to see Rossi in tenth place in qualifying, but I'm sure that tomorrow he will be there. He is one of the strongest riders for the race. His pace is so good. Even with used tyres he is able to do a good lap time, so he will be fighting for the victory."

Lorenzo, Rossi's Movistar Yamaha team-mate, added:

"Valentino is sometimes strong in qualifying, but maybe he's not the most explosive rider like Marc, myself, or maybe Dani [Pedrosa]. Sometimes he can do pole positions but his real strong point is the race and I'm sure - if he doesn't have too many problems in the first laps with slower riders - he can be fighting for the podium, for the victory."

Rossi has finished runner-up to Marquez in three of the five races this year and is currently third in the world championship. Unbeaten at Mugello from 2002-2008, Sunday will be Rossi's 300th grand prix start


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

With a Honda on Pole and Rossi on 10th on a Yamaha, it would be a lot more impressive than MM's Le Mans ride...lets see... x fingers fir a hot race!