MotoGP »

MotoGP Catalunya: Rossi pushed out of top ten by rivals ‘time attack’

“A lot of riders pushed very hard for a sort of time attack, because the weather forecast is not 100% positive. I'm worried because I'm not in the top ten” – Valentino Rossi.
MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi faces an anxious overnight wait after being left just eleventh fastest during day one of the Catalunya round.

Concerns over the possibility of rain on Saturday morning meant the end of Friday practice became a quasi-qualifying session - riders fitting new tyres to try and stake their place in the top ten with a flying lap.

The special soft rear, not available to Yamaha and Honda, helped all six Suzuki and Ducati riders claim a potential direct transfer place into Qualifying 2.

Rossi was the most high profile rider outside of the transfer zone and must now hope that rain stays away if he is to avoid the kind of Qualifying 1 risk that saw Marc Marquez 13th on the grid last time at Mugello.

“A lot of riders pushed very hard for a sort of time attack, because the weather forecast is not 100% positive for tomorrow,” Rossi confirmed. “I'm worried because I'm not in the top ten, so I hope for good conditions tomorrow morning to improve my position and get in the top ten.”

As so often this season Rossi's race pace is looking far more competitive, the Italian setting six sub-1m 43s laps for an average pace comparable to all but Movistar Yamaha team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo (who set twelve sub-1m 43 laps).

“Apart from the position I'm quite satisfied about the day, because especially in the second part of the afternoon we improved a lot the bike,” Rossi said. “I have a good setting. The balance is not so bad. For sure we have to work on small details to try to improve the braking, but I feel good. I think we are on a good way.”

However Rossi knows he will face a repeat of the soft-tyre attack from Suzuki and Ducati in qualifying, already his weakest part of the weekend.

“For sure tomorrow will be very, very hard for us to start in a good grid position," the nine time world champion confessed. "Because have a lot of bikes very fast, especially for one lap and looks like the soft Bridgestone help a lot the Suzukis and Ducatis.”

Rossi also believes the Repsol Hondas of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are in better one-lap shape than the Yamaha, but well within reach for race pace.

“The Hondas are very fast in the one lap. Especially Marquez but also Pedrosa and Crutchlow is not so bad. And after their pace is similar to us and Jorge for example was a little bit better,” he said.

“The problem [for qualifying] is that Honda are very good over one lap with the medium tyre and you also have the Ducati and Suzuki with the extra-soft that for one lap is a big help. So you put Honda, then Ducati and Suzuki with the extra soft, and we are very behind.

“So we have to give the maximum, also because usually Jorge is a little bit faster than me over one lap with the same bike.”

Fastest on Friday was not a Yamaha, Honda or Ducati but the Suzuki of Aleix Espargaro. The home star made good use of engine upgrades and the soft rear tyre to lap 0.285s clear of Marquez. But Espargaro was also fast on the medium rear, which Rossi expects to use for the race.

“I checked the pace of both the Suzukis, Maverick and especially Espargaro, and also with our tyre - because I think we will race with [the medium rear], the same as the hard option for Suzuki and Ducati - they have a good pace. They go in '42. It is not so bad. It means that also the Suzuki works well here and they improve the engine, bring some new stuff. It is early to say but looks like they made a step. Also the Ducati, apart from the time attack have a not so bad pace.”

Rossi currently holds a six-point lead over Lorenzo, winner of the last three races and seventh fastest on Friday.

Tagged as: Yamaha , Valentino Rossi

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Catalunya MotoGP 2015
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
jones, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Petrucci Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


June 12, 2015 7:42 PM

Realist: He still has two more practice sessions and qualifying to nail his set-up. There's still a race on Sunday as well. Let's withhold the hysteria until after the race....yes?
Very likely he will improve a lot by the time the race starts. But if he doesn't qualify well Jorge will be gone.
There are multiple ways to look at this. Everybody ran out on a quali tire trying to generate a hot lap, but Rossi wasn't trying to run a quali time (and only him and Lorenzo are running the hot race pace). His methodology is different. Maybe those riders' strategies will pay off. Maybe they'll be revealed to have been futile efforts. That remains to be seen. What I do notice is the predictable way in which race noobs on start predicting race results from an FP session. You would think that people would have learned not to do that.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.