Valentino Rossi today could not have found a better tow on the Losail track. In qualifying he followed Bagnaia in his record lap, a benchmark that helped him to set the fourth quickest time which will allow him to start from the second row in the race.
“There was nothing planned, I was lucky to be in the right place – explained Valentino – I want to congratulate Pecco, he was awesome. Starting the season in a new team with pole is the best, I think he is a great interpreter of the Ducati because he has managed to modify his riding style in order to get around the problems and exploit the characteristics of his bike ”.
Also for the Doctor it was his first qualifying session with new team gear, that of Petronas…
“In fact, I am very happy – he said – It was a good way for me to start the year too, with the second set of tires I felt at ease, I was able to ride well without making mistakes and I did a great time, although unfortunately it was not enough for the front row.I came from tests that were not fantastic but in recent years I have understood that in MotoGP everything can change from one session to another and you must never give up very important to start from the front for the race”.
What about the race? Where can Valentino finish? Is the podium a possible goal?
“It’s hard to say now – was his answer – In FP3 and FP4 I struggled but I knew it would happen because I had very used tires. We also tried to make some changes to the bike that didn’t go well. Today my pace wasn’t great, we’ll have to go back on our steps and we’ll see. I also wanted to try the medium tire because if it were hot it would be difficult to do the whole race with the soft ones. My hope is to find good conditions, for us riders and above all for the fans who are anxiously awaiting this first race ”.
The problem will be to contend with the Ducatis, because they literally fly on the straight, as Zarco demonstrated by exceeding 362 km/h…
“I think he will beat that record again, the duo of Zarco and Ducati is formidable in this sense and at Mugello it will certainly go faster – he predicted – Iis it dangerous? Already after 330 per hour it becomes dangerous, I know the fans get excited about these numbers, but it’s dangerous. As for us, we have cut the disadvantage on the straight a bit, but it remains a big one and this is the main reason why it is difficult to get into a fight with the Yamaha, you have to overtake in the corners but then they overtake you on the straight. Morbidelli is one of the best interpreters of the M1 because he starts in front, breaks away and wins, I don’t know what will happen in this race but I would be happy to finish in the top 5 “.
Speaking of Franco and Pecco, Valentino also appeared in the role of Academy boss for a moment…
“I’m proud of you. It is also nice because the manufacturers believe a lot in the work of VR46, they know that our riders are serious, true professionals. In fact, Ducati trusted Bagnaia and my brother too, but then it’s they who make the difference ”.