"Bad" Qatar evening pace leaves Rossi puzzled

Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi admits he has been caught out by his “bad” nighttime pace in Qatar on Friday, following a strong showing in first practice.

"Bad" Qatar evening pace leaves Rossi puzzled

Rossi set the pace in the daytime FP1, but was the only rider not to improve his earlier time under the lights in the second session.

This left him outside of the top 10 in the combined classification, which means he is likely to miss out on an automatic Q2 bye unless he can find a lot more speed in the daytime third practice.

“It was a strange day because, maybe we aren't as good as this afternoon, but for sure we are not as bad as this evening,” Rossi said after FP2.

“It's a shame because we were optimistic after this morning to try the pace, but was bad.

“And is very difficult to understand, sincerely, what's happen. Looks like the line is quite narrow to go fast.

“The problem is that I'm out of the Q2 and tomorrow morning maybe the condition will be more difficult so I think that will be difficult to enter in the top 10.”

Rossi attempted a long run in FP2, but said the right side of his medium front tyre wore out too quickly.

“The problem is that we destroyed the front tyre, this we don't expect,” he said. “But with this number of tyre, if you f**k one tyre, it's over.

“This morning was good, same tyre. Usually if the tyre is bad, you feel from the beginning, but this morning I feel okay so it's not the tyre, is something else."

The other three Yamahas – those of works teammate Maverick Vinales and Petronas SRT riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo – were all within the top 10 in FP2.

“It's good, to have the other Yamaha very fast,” Rossi said. “I think that Maverick is very, very good but also Quartararo, Morbidelli are good.

“Also the laptime of Quartararo and Franco is very similar to my laptime this morning in the pace. But something [went] wrong, maybe we make some mistake, I don't know, we have to try tomorrow to make better.”

Vinales finished Friday in second place, having towed pace-setter Marc Marquez along to a new Qatar lap record.

“I know he is injured to I tried to help him a little bit, maybe too much,” Vinales joked of Marquez.

He then added: “Was important to see where our competitors are, so we have to put our heads down and work, work, work.

“They are forward at the moment, some tenths in advance, so we need to keep working really hard.”

Nevertheless, the Spaniard was satisfied with his Friday showing, saying he was “much faster” than in the pre-season test at the same venue.

“We modify a little bit the bike and I feel much better.

“The good thing is that from the test to now, the only thing is that we improve, we didn't go back, and that's really important.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Marquez surprised by Lorenzo on Honda practice debut

Previous article

Marquez surprised by Lorenzo on Honda practice debut

Next article

KTM: Zarco taking longer than expected to adapt

KTM: Zarco taking longer than expected to adapt
Load comments
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021