Valentino Rossi believes that a machine and team are now just as important as a rider's ability in the make up of a competitive MotoGP package.
After a sensational switch from Honda to Yamaha machinery in 2004 failed to end Rossi's dominance, the Italian maintained that a rider's ability was so important to a package that it counted as 80 percent of the package.
However, now with much importance placed on a MotoGP's electronics package and the personnel tweaking it, Rossi feels the machinery and team structure has taken on added importance for a rider wanting to be competitive in the premier class.
Speaking in the qualifying press conference after setting the second fastest time of the afternoon, Rossi said, “In the last years it has changed.
“It's very important the motorcycle, it's very important the team, and if you see in MotoGP, I think now it's 50/50.
“For sure, if you have a factory bike with a manufacturer behind that helps you to improve the bike and adapt the bike to your style, it's very important.
“We saw also a lot of victories this year from [satellite] riders, also Cal won two races. But I think half and half.”
Also present at the press conference was Moto3 pole sitter Brad Binder. Asked to give his views on the matter, the South African feels “the bike helps more than the rider” in the junior grand prix category.
“In Moto3, it's not always a case of being fast, it's often a case of being in the right place at the right time, and catching a bit of slipstream, which seems to be what changes a lot of things this year.
“But at the end of the day, a Moto3 bike, we don't really have too many things to play with. You kind of get on the bike and go. Set the thing up a bit, and that's about it. I suppose for sure the bike helps a lot more than the rider in Moto3, and probably as you go up, it starts to change a bit.
“But in Moto3, if you're in the right place and you catch a few slipstreams, you can go one second quicker, no problem."
Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Rossi feels he can be strong in either wet or dry conditions.
“Today is not very important. But starting from the front row is always a good feeling, and especially is important for the race. Today was a good day, I can ride well, I feel good on the bike in both conditions, also this morning.
“I was good from the beginning. Everybody hope for a dry race tomorrow, because we can see a good fight. Because this morning we were already fast, and also the first four are close, inside one tenth, and also the pace is very similar. So it's good.
“But everything can happen. Because the asphalt is very good, have a good grip and less bumps, but something wrong happened, because it need a lot of time for drying up. So it's not a normal condition. And also, you can push, but always you try to stay concentrated on the patches.
“So I was not so bad also in the wet. So for the full wet or the full dry, we can be quite strong.”