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MotoGP Silverstone: Rossi ‘good potential, pleasure to ride’

Petronas’ Valentino Rossi described Silverstone as ‘a pleasure’ after securing one of his best qualifying performances this season, to start eighth on the BritishGP grid.

The Veteran Italian was six-tenths away from Pol Espargaro’s pole time at a track he openly admits he loves to ride. And is eagerly awaiting the 20-lap contest on Sunday.

“Today we continue in a positive way, also better than yesterday,” Rossi said on Saturday. “We work well from the morning, we improve the setting of the bike, we try to work with the tyres, and in the FP3, FP4 and in the Q2, we are always in the top-10, around seventh/eighth place and I'm happy.


“Is a good potential, because I have a good feeling with the bike, I ride well and I have some places in the track where I'm fast, and I enjoy. I enjoy a lot Silverstone, so is a pleasure. For sure, it's not easy, but we have to continue like this.”

Rossi was on the tail of VR46 Academy graduate, and friend, Pecco Bagnaia for his qualifying laps but the Italian admits, while having a tow is now a common strategy of MotoGP, there was no agreement with Bagnaia in particular.

“It's very important to have one guy in front,” he explained. “So, we take Pecco, and with Pecco in front is better for the lap time but we don't make any particular strategy together. In FP4, I always ride alone because I want to try to understand the tyres and for sure the tyre tomorrow will be important, because it's very open between medium and hard. A lot of riders looks like they are better with the medium, I am a little bit better with the hard, but we need to understand the condition and the temperature tomorrow.

“The medium, before FP4 I was more for the medium because the hard with the low temperature is difficult to put in temperature right and left. So with the medium is better but this afternoon I was a bit faster with the hard. Is difficult for the medium arrive to the end of the race, but depends very much from the different bikes and the different riders. From the other side also the hard is not easy, also for the hard to arrive at the end. So you need to understand which tyre degrades in a better way, with losing less time. Is not always that the hard is better at the end because depends very much from the degradation. Also the medium can be better at the end so we need to understand, we need to wait to tomorrow. I don't use a lot the start device here for the layout of the track, because you're always very fast, and we don't gain a lot.”

While not his best qualifying performance of the year - that came at the start of the season with a fourth place at Qatar - Rossi is confident in his current pace and his feeling at the British track and hopeful this will translate into a positive result come race day.

“In Qatar I was better in the qualifying, but my pace is better now,” he confirmed. “It's also true that, for example in Assen, and especially in Barcelona, I was very strong in the pace, but after in the race, we had some other problems and I was not competitive. So, the good and bad of the MotoGP is that you never know what happens in the race, will depend very much from the tyre choice and also depends you never know, also if you have the right choice. So will depends very much from the temperature, from all the things so I don't know but I hope, I hope to do a good race.

“I always like the longer track with a lot of corners, and very technical. Silverstone is very technical, because you have everything, you have up and down, but you have a very slow corner but at the same time you have also fast corners. This track put together the old classic track, in a good balance with the new one - because Silverstone was modified and for me is better the new than the old. Usually in a track like this, a rider can make more the difference maybe. I don't know if it's for that.

“A lot of time, if one rider feels good in one track depends from a lot of different things. I always like Silverstone, maybe it's that? I like Silverstone so I enjoy when I ride and I'm able to go faster.”

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