Valentino Rossi is confident that Movistar Yamaha will prove more competitive around the sweeping high-speed bends of Silverstone after the team endured a dreadful weekend in Austria two weeks ago. The Italian was eliminated in Q1 in Spielberg, leaving him 14th on the grid, before an impressive recovery ride saw him salvage sixth in the race, six places ahead of team-mate Maverick Vinales.
With Silverstone providing a total contrast to the stop/go nature of the Red Bull Ring, Rossi does not expect his problems last time out to continue in Britain, although the 2015 winner has an eye on an unsettled weather forecast which currently predicts rain during the race.
“On paper, we can be stronger here at Silverstone. It’s a great track full of history and in the last few years I’ve always had good races. Last year, we had unbelievable weather with sun from Thursday to Sunday but this time it looks a bit more tricky. We’ll try to be stronger than the last races.”
In 2017, Yamaha struggled to match the performance of Honda and Ducati in wet conditions and Rossi feels the pecking order is near-identical to the dry, admitting he cannot offer an explanation for the YZR-M1’s struggles in the rain.
“In the past, slower riders in the dry can win in the wet. Now, it looks like, more or less, the names are the same. I like the wet and usually I’m faster. This year, I don’t know (how competitive Yamaha will be) but we are hoping for a dry race. Looking at the last wet race, we were 30 seconds behind but we don’t know why.”