Valentino Rossi enjoyed one of his better Fridays of 2021 as he finished P9 during the second MotoGP practice session. 

The nine-time world champion also made it four Yamahas inside the top ten during a surprisingly dry FP2. 

Rossi was 14th fastest during the opening session of the day in the wet, but the Italian managed to secure his place inside the top ten overall, which could turn out to be hugely important ahead of tomorrow’s projected rain forecast. 

Rossi’s struggles so far in 2021 have been widely discussed as the 42 year-old only has four points to his name. But with the recent Jerez test proving to be a good one for him and the Petronas squad, it seems as though Le Mans might be the starting point for a return to form.

When summing up his day, Rossi said: "Yes, a better day for us. Already this morning in the wet I was quite fast and I felt good with the bike. 

"But I need dry practice to understand if the work on the Monday test at Jerez can help us in Le Mans. We were lucky. FP2 was full dry so we can push. 

"At the end I’m in the top 10 in P9. All during practice I ride in a better way. I’m constant, I can brake deeper and enter faster. 

"I was not too bad for all the practice. In the end I’m in the top 10 and it looks like we are a bit stronger compared to the first races." 

While Rossi alluded to needing more time in the dry in order to collect a clear reading on if the work done at Jerez can significantly help, he followed that by saying he worked ‘hard in the test’ and that he thinks ‘the work in Jerez’ can ‘help a lot’.

"I think the work in Jerez help us a lot. We work hard in the Monday test. We modify the setting of suspension, we have different forks, we change the weight balance of bike," added Rossi.

"We also try a different carbon swingarm which is good. All these things help us especially in braking and in entry. It can bring more speed in the corner without running wide and I feel better on the bike."  

Turn three was a nightmare for the riders today with several crashes occurring at the left hand corner.  

It is the first left hander for a considerable amount of time with four right handers before it which leads to the tyre losing temperature. 

Rossi alluded to many factors playing a role in that corner while calling it a ‘nightmare’ himself. 

Rossi said: "T3 is a nightmare. Every lap when you arrive you’re very worried. First of all, it’s the 1st corner of left after 2 corners of right, a long straight, and two more corners on the right, so with low temperatures the tyre is cold so there is not a lot of grip. 

"The second thing is the banking is opposite. The negative banking (camber), this is a disaster for the bike. 

"You have to lean the bike on the left but negative banking it’s a problem. The 3rd factor is this track is used for the car racing in the 24hrs and the part that cars use has less grip. 

"The asphalt is more old. When you make 24 hours with 70 cars the track becomes old very early."

 

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