Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi made two steps forward with his setup ahead of finishing today’s Sepang MotoGP in second place, saying he sacrificed some precision in order to make a bike that ‘loved the tyres’.
The Doctor struggled through free practice and qualifying but some weight distribution work before warm-up and then a final tweak ahead of lights-out meant he was able to increase his lead over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the chase for second.
“Is an important second place for the championship especially as we are struggling a lot during the weekend for find the right setting for the bike. We never was too strong in the practice and I wasn’t able to ride at 100 per cent but this morning we improve a lot the bike and also for the race another step and it was fantastic in the race,” said Rossi, speaking at Sepang.
“We try to modify the weight distribution, especially for the tyres. We lose something in some places, precision and change of direction but we made a bike that loved the tyres and this is the key.
“After a great battle with Jorge, I go in front and I saw Marc was fast but not incredible fast so I think maybe I can win. When he overtake I could stay with him but in the last laps I have to slow down a little bit and he was able to keep the same rhythm and he go. He was stronger and he won.”
Rossi explained that when the Bridgestone rears lose grip towards the end of a race, Marquez is still able to turn the Honda while the Yamahas begin to lose grip on the front as well, making it tought to turn.
“For me, when the tyre go down, Honda just lose rear grip but for us when the tyre go down, we also have some problem in the front. I have the chattering, I go wide so I don’t lose just the acceleration. I saw also Marc in front spin and move a lot but he can turn.
“For us with the Yamaha, in the last lap, the tyre is really finish. We also had some bad effect on the front and is for this reason I had to go to 2.02s laps and Marc was able to stay in 2’01s.
“Is double of the podium last year and double of the victory. I have 12 point now over Jorge but there is one to go. I struggle always in my career at Valencia but I try to fight.”