Valentino Rossi admitted that the problems encountered by the Yamaha squad at Silverstone today came as a major surprise to him. The nine-time world champion was only thirteenth fastest and along with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, faces a fight to book an automatic spot in Q2 during tomorrow morning’s final practice session.
“Today was a very difficult day because we expected to be faster but we’re struggling a lot”, Rossi commented. “This morning’s practice wasn’t fantastic, but also wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like the feeling of the bike, especially in the front. This afternoon, we worked on the weight distribution and tried to improve the entry into the corners but unfortunately it got a lot worse. It looks like we took the wrong direction.”
“This afternoon was very difficult and I never had a good feeling with the bike. When I enter the corners I don’t have a feeling with the front, I have vibrations, and the front doesn’t have enough grip and I’m losing a lot of corner speed from the entry. I was quite shocked.”
It isn’t just Rossi’s qualifying fate that hangs on tomorrow morning’s practice session with the Italian believing FP3 is “crucial” in order to rectify the problems on his YZR-M1 in order to be competitive over a race distance.
“We tried to continue during practice to modify the plan to take some more data but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time. Tomorrow we will try something completely different and try to understand how we can go faster. We expected to be stronger at Silverstone with the M1 but we’re struggling and we’re more or less suffering a similar problem on entry so we hope to fix the problem tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow morning will be important for us and we hope for good weather too because we’re not in the top ten so that’s the target for tomorrow to get directly into Q2. It will be crucial to try and arrive back at the front.”