Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi had to contend with engine problems and going the wrong way with bike setup during today’s MotoGP free practice sessions, ending up seventh on the combined timesheets with work to do ahead of qualifying.
The Doctor was second fastest in yesterday’s opening session but slowly dropped down the pecking order today. Rossi completed three runs, trying multiple tyre options and turned up the pace at the very end of FP2 but was unable to improve his time.
Rossi had to change to his number two bike at the start of FP3 due to an engine problem and was happy with his race pace but couldn’t put together a good enough time attack lap after being fastest in the first two sectors several times.
“Today was a bit more difficult, especially in free practice two. We tried something else, but we expected the tyre to be a bit harder. Unfortunately it didn’t work, I didn’t like it, so we had to come back and we worked a lot on the bike. Free practice three was a bit more positive for me,” said Rossi.
“Unfortunately I had a problem with my first bike with the engine, so we had to change bike, but with the second bike I felt good. I had a good pace, especially with the medium tyre on the rear and I think we are quite competitive. After that we put on a softer tyre, but I wasn’t able to do the perfect lap so this means we’re not OK with the setting and we have work to do, but we’re in the top ten, this is important. We have free practice four tomorrow to improve the setting to better the bike, because it will be very important to start from the front and not too far behind, if not, things will become very difficult.”