Rossi in good Spirits With Front Row Start, Despite Bumps

Rossi in the land of gunracks and churches. Willy Mamoth

“The advantage of having done so badly on the other Fridays means 8th and 4th is already positive”, Valentino makes a joke but at Austin, because for once, there are more positives than negatives. “I haven’t done anything special” he adds, but this time he’s found the confirmation he was looking for.

“I’ve made a better start than at the last two races, this morning I was in the top ten and this afternoon, with the soft tyre, I made a good lap – he explains – I got on better with the bike”.

What do you mean?
I started with a set-up similar to that used in Argentina and the M1 worked quite well. It was important to understand if what we’d learned at Termas would work and I’ve got on well. This means that we’re close to finding out base set-up”.

So it’s all going well?
We still need to improve in certain area, especially in braking and pace. Then we have to choose the tyres. But without the stress of having to reach the top 10 there’s less pressure”.

Marquez and Vinales seemed unbeatable today…
“They’re very fast, this is why I still have work to do, but at least I’m closer this time”.

There’s a big group behind them
Today I think Pedrosa was slightly faster than me and Zarco is very strong. Johann has impressed me, he’s doing really well. Morbidelli, Baldassarri and my brother were saying that in Moto2 he was doing amazing things and I was curious to see him on a MotoGP. He’s quick and strong in a head to head, I think he has the right style for Yamaha”.

About the track, many have complained about the potholes…
It was a nasty surprise, it’s much worse than last year, there are points where the asphalt is caving in and needs to be fixed. This is a tough track and now it’s even more so, I think the race will be a physical challenge.

Marquez, in following Zarco, said that he thinks the Yamaha looks stable over the potholes. Do you agree?
“It’s always tricky to compare one bike with another, to me it feels like I’m riding on an MX track, while Maverick is suffering less. Perhaps it’s worse with the Honda. The situation is critical in braking, where the F1 cars move the asphalt, in those points you jump from one hole to another. In the Safety Commission we’ll highlight this and see what they say”.

Speaking of the Safety Commission, what do you think about Dovizioso’s proposal to only consider FP3 times for entry into Q2?
“There would be pros and cons, but I think we could do it”.

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