Riders are often known to form a close bond with their machinery and, after qualifying eleventh on the grid for Sunday's German MotoGP, Valentino Rossi was asked what the status of his relationship is with the M1:

"I think that unfortunately the relationship with the bike is more like your girlfriend than with your mum!" smiled the Italian.

"Usually your mum always says yes and is always ready to help you.

"With the girlfriend, it’s a bit more difficult. Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it’s difficult to manage. So with the bike it’s a bit like this!

"We improved a little today. The pace is quite good, but I’m not fantastic - so the 'relationship' is not fantastic! We have to wait and see tomorrow."

Looking to turn the page on three DNFs in a row, and a particularly miserable Assen weekend, Rossi once again found himself taking part in Qualifying 1 at the Sachsenring.

Fortunately, unlike at Mugello and Assen, he passed safely through to Qualifying 2, despite a fall at the end of the session (pictured).

But Rossi was then almost one-second from the record pole lap of Marc Marquez, although eighth place in final practice had been more encouraging.

"With the soft tyre I suffer. I’m not very fast in the hot lap. I was able to pass through to Q2 but unfortunately I did a small crash at the end of Q1," Rossi said. "I had a small vibration on the front and I lost the front. I don’t see the data but maybe I entered too fast.

"My team did a great job because they recovered the #1 bike in a short time. But in the Q2 I was a bit more in trouble. I had a bit less speed. I have to start from the fourth row which is always difficult, especially at this track. But we’ll see.

"I have a better feeling than Assen. In the pace I am a bit stronger. We modify something in the bike and we improve a bit. We’ll try tomorrow. Also it looks like the conditions will be very different tomorrow, so we need to see if it will be wet, dry, hot, cold.

"Then there is the tyre choice. With less temperature, a lot changes..."

Team-mate Maverick Vinales, who claimed Yamaha's first win of the season last time at Assen, qualified third behind Marquez and the satellite M1 of rookie Fabio Quartararo.

 

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