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MotoGP Austria: Rear tyre problems again for Rossi, Vinales

Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales slipped further behind Marc Marquez in the MotoGP title chase yesterday in Austria after the pair again suffered from excessive rear tyre wear on a bike that was conceived to do the opposite.

Both riders elected to use the hard option Michelin at the Red Bull Ring after working with it Saturday’s FP4 but Rossi suffered a serious grip drop after 12 laps which, coupled with a huge braking error, ruled him out of contention.

“We expect, we hope to go faster, to be stronger. I think that we do the maximum. We don’t have any regrets for the setting and also for the tyre choice because in the first lap I was strong I think that the hard for us was the right option. We worked a lot to not destroy the tyre, the rear,” said Rossi, speaking at the track.


“In fact, in FP4 I was fast for ten laps, like today. But after twelve laps I had a big drop from the rear tyre and I have to slow down a lot. The bike become very difficult to ride and I did also one mistake in braking, but anyway, I was slow.

“We have to work because we stress too much the rear tyre and especially Honda and Ducati find something to be fast without using the rear too much. If you look at the fastest lap and the fastest section, we are very close. There are two Yamahas in the first two fastest laps – me and Zarco.

“But after we have to slow down and we lose the fight. We arrive behind. So a lot of times this year this problem happen and we work hard. It looks like in some races and at some tracks we suffer less. But we suffer like this it becomes very difficult. In the second half of the race we are not strong enough. We have to try to improve this thing, continue to work and to be stronger in the next races.”

Vinales concurred, saying it isn’t a tyre problem, it’s a bike problem. “We were quite unlucky, especially with the rear tyres, they were sliding a lot. But I don’t think it was the problem of the rear tyres, I think it’s the problem of our bike. The problem is that we have no rear grip, the rear tyre drops so much and so quickly.”

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