MotoGP

Rossi Confident Of Competitive Showing In Qualifying

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Valentino Rossi thinks Ducati have more potential than they showed today after he could only manage eighth place in Friday Practice at Aragon. The Italian was two seconds off the pace but had a far-from-easy afternoon and expects to be much closer to the front if qualifying proves to be wet as well.

“We had a problem with the gearbox on the bike we were using, and I lost a bit of time in the garage. We had to prepare the second one in a hurry, and then I rode with that. It’s a shame because with these conditions, the tyres only get up to temperature after a few laps, so when I was able to go back out, I didn’t have time to push hard. Our potential is certainly better than this. We can be more competitive, and we’ll try tomorrow in qualifying which, according to the forecasts, could be wet like today. We’ll try to get a good starting position and then we’ll see for Sunday, because it looks as if the race might be dry.”

Teammate Nicky Hayden was further up the pecking order, going fourth quickest, but he also thought there was time to be found and believes managing the tyres holds the key to a good qualifying result in the wet.

“More rain, but you can’t change the weather. This morning we did a couple of laps just to get a feel for things, but we waited once it dried out. It was wet in the afternoon, but I didn’t enjoy riding in the rain as much as I usually do. The track itself was pretty grippy, as we were about ten seconds off my dry time here, which isn’t bad on a track this long, but I was missing some rear grip on corner entry and at the first touch of the throttle. We’ve got to improve that. I only rode with the new chassis today, but with the rain, I’m not really able to give an impression. They’re calling for more rain tomorrow, so we might have to manage the rain tyres. When it dries, this track can chew them up quickly, so we might need to make sure we save enough for qualifying. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

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