Sick Rossi relieved to take "fantastic" pole

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi said pole position for the Japanese GP was made sweeter by the fact he'd had a rough Motegi weekend until then, both in terms of bike set-up and physical condition.

Sick Rossi relieved to take "fantastic" pole
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Rossi had admitted that he was seriously jet-lagged in the pre-event press conference on Thursday and has now confirmed he is "a little bit sick" - but he'd put all of that aside to storm to his third pole of the season in Saturday qualifying at Motegi.

"It's fantastic because it's the third pole position of the season, is a good number," Rossi said.

"Also because we were struggling during the weekend to find the right setting – and also I'm not at 100 percent, I'm a little bit sick, I'm not fantastic physically

"But before FP4 we did a great job with the team to find the balance – also in free practice, I was not so bad. And I did a very good [pole] lap, very good braking at Turn 11, very good in the fast corners – and when I saw [1m]43.9[s], I was very happy."

Marquez played it safe

Before Rossi's last-gasp charge to pole position, Marc Marquez looked odds-on favourite to end the session on top as he was well clear after his first run.

However, a messy run on his second set meant he couldn't string together a lap and improve on his earlier benchmark, which led to him finishing second behind Rossi.

However, Marquez - who sits on a 52-point lead at the top of the standings - said he was not discouraged by missing out on pole.

"Honestly, I'm really happy. Of course, the pole position is a little better, but, you know, I feel really good this weekend – much better than I expected before the start," Marquez said.

"In the second run on the second tyre, I was able to be faster – but I did a small mistake on the first lap and the second lap was yellow flags where [Cal] Crutchlow crashed, and I didn't push because it was too dangerous.

"Maybe I was able to push a little bit more but after seeing the crashes of Dani [Pedrosa, in FP2] and Jorge [Lorenzo, in FP3], it's better to take care."

shares
comments
Motegi MotoGP: Top 5 quotes after qualifying

Previous article

Motegi MotoGP: Top 5 quotes after qualifying

Next article

Rossi: Marquez and Lorenzo "a bit faster" in race trim

Rossi: Marquez and Lorenzo "a bit faster" in race trim
Load comments
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
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