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MotoGP Catalunya: Afternoon changes left Rossi 'uncomfortable and slow'

Valentino Rossi continued a difficult 2021 season with Petronas, as Friday afternoon set up changes removed any good feeling he began the CatalanGP weekend with. 

Posting the fifth fastest lap on his first timed lap of the morning, the Italian sat eighth as FP1 got fully up to speed before concluding the 45-minute session in 15th with a best time of 1’41.267.

Despite improving on his morning efforts by over four-tenths, ‘The Doctor’ struggled with the balance of his Yamaha M1, with set up changes impeding his front feeling and overall pace, concluding the opening day 19th overall.


“This morning I was not fantastic but I was not so bad. I had a better feeling with the bike, my position was not fantastic because we didn't change tyres, but I felt better. The bike was quite similar to Mugello, with just the normal adaption that you do from Mugello to Barcelona - a bit of the spring from the rear, but the bike is very similar. 

“This afternoon we tried different settings, to modify the weight distribution, the balance, to improve mainly the braking, but I didn't feel comfortable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t feel the front for entry and I was too slow. I can brake hard but after, I'm not able to enter fast enough in the corner because I have a lot of understeer, and I lose the line. My pace was quite bad. So this afternoon, the feeling was not good, also the time attack with the soft tyre is bad, so tomorrow we will come back more similar to this morning and we will see our potential.”

Discussing the new turn 10 layout, Rossi admits he prefers it to the previous configuration.

“It’s very, very similar to the classic turn 10 of the Catalunya circuit, before,” he explained.

“It’s a difficult corner, very technical. Is difficult to find the right line and to find the apex in the entry, but it’s very beautiful and it’s a little bit faster now. I really like it” he concluded.

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