Valentino Rossi's decision to pit and fit a new rear wet tyre paid dividends as the Movistar Yamaha rider sealed a front row start in second place at Assen.
Rossi, who won his seventh premier class race at the Dutch TT last year, had only planned on completing one time attack but changed his mind on the track.
“For me with my team, we decided to start from the beginning and arrive at the end, but after three laps I understand already that I was there because already the rear moved a lot,” Rossi said.
“There were some places in the track that were completely dry so the tyres soften very much in these conditions. I risked, because I was eighth or ninth – I don't remember – but I have two laps or maybe one lap and it was the right choice, because we put another rain tyre in as for me it was too early for the intermediate.
“It worked and I am so happy; it's a shame for the pole, but it's very important to start from the front row.”
Rossi favours dry conditions for Sunday's race but is also confident with his pace in the wet. The Doctor also said the possibility may arise to use Michelin's intermediate tyre during the race if conditions are mixed.
“I hope for the dry because I can be competitive; this morning was not so bad and we made a step with the setting and with the harder tyres I have a good pace. I put a soft at the end and I was in the fourth position but very close to Dovi,” said the 37-year-old.
“But we have to wait for the conditions and we hope if it will be wet, we will be competitive also. I haven't had the time to try the intermediate tyre this year so I don't know the feeling. It is really difficult to make the tyre choice: imagine with dry and wet [conditions] and also the intermediate; it is difficult to say.
“For the safety, it is something good because if you take the race of 2014 they enter with the slick at a moment that was very dangerous [with mixed conditions], so in that moment, the intermediate for the safety it is better,” added Rossi.
“After, it depends how wide the window of performance is because after a few laps the risk can come back. Maybe tomorrow can be the possibility to have the intermediate in the race.”
Rossi is wary of how quickly conditions can change at Assen and says luck also plays a part if conditions are such that the riders will be forced to switch to their second machine during the race.
“The qualifying is always difficult, always tricky and in these conditions everything changes, especially here in Assen. In five minutes the condition of the track is completely different,” he said.
“The asphalt dries up incredibly fast an also for the qualifying the conditions were already different compared to the free practice (4).
“You have to keep a small space in your mind to think of the conditions and you have to remember from the lap before [where circuit is wet and dry]. It is something you have to do step by step,” added Rossi, who won last time out at Catalunya.
“Usually you have one part of the track that can dry quicker and another where the rain can stay a bit more – it's not easy for sure but it's something that makes a lot of difference, especially in these types of conditions and especially if the race tomorrow is half and half. You need to be lucky also, to enter in the pit at the right moment.”