British GP ‘uncertain’
Rossi talks about the upcoming British GP at Silverstone,
I have very nice recent memories of Silverstone. Last year I won a really incredible race in very difficult conditions. I hope that this year there will be nice weather, but from the climatic point of view the English race is very uncertain. I like Silverstone a lot, it’s a very fun track but also very demanding. This circuit is very long and there are many changes of direction with high speeds. It is important to find a perfect set-up for the bike to be able to suit both the slow and the fast corners. We will try to work on all aspects, as we have been doing the entire season to get the best possible result.
Wants to race new chassis, swingarm
Rossi says he wants to race with a new Yamaha chassis and swingarm following 60 test laps (equivalent to four race lengths) at Brno.
In the end it was a good day. This morning everybody was a little bit sad because the condition of the track look quite bad. And when I entered the track – we decided to go anyway because we had some important things to test – the lap time was quite high. But after, when 4-5-8 bikes were on track, it cleaned and for the last two hours it was a very good test. A very good level. Because we can push, go fast. Also the time attack at the end was not so bad. But especially I like the new stuff. We tried a lot of different things, especially a different chassis and different swingarm. And I like. The feeling with the bike improved and I can enter the corner faster. I also like the bike in braking.
Admits Marquez has 2016 title in sight
When asked if he had enough races left to catch Marquez, Rossi says:
No – because of too many mistakes, being a little bit unlucky and I’m too far [behind]. And also Marquez this year is not only fast in all of the conditions but he makes always the right choices. So it’s very difficult to close the 53 points. We can be strong and we won’t give up to the end, but I think it’s very difficult. [But] the fight with Lorenzo for second place is very open. It is very important to gain these points and stay in front, but at the same time Lorenzo is very strong, very fast.
First stages of race ‘a nightmare’
Rossi says the first part of his Czech GP was a “nightmare”:
The conditions were very different compared to this morning, this morning there was a lot more water. On the grid there was a little bit of confusion, to understand the tyre choices, [and] if somebody changed. It was a risk, but at the end we tried. Unfortunately we didn’t also put on the hard front, I wasn’t brave enough like Cal. The first laps were a nightmare, I made a mistake a lot of times and everybody overtook me from the outside and the inside. It was difficult. But from one point I understood that maybe it wouldn’t dry enough for a flag-to-flag race, and from that moment I understood that maybe my choice was better [than the soft rear]. Then Cal overtook me and I saw that he was very fast, and I knew that he had the hard, so I just tried to ride well, not make any mistakes and it was great fun, the second half.
Czech GP second place0 Comments
Rossi takes second place in the Czech Republic GP at Brno. After starting from sixth place on the grid, he drops back to 12th place. However, his tyre combination (soft front/hard rear) begins to pay dividends as the track dries out. With seven laps to go he overtakes Marc Marquez to take fifth place; with five laps to go he overtakes Hector Barbera, and shortly thereafter overtakes Andrea Iannone to finish behind race winner Cal Crutchlow. Rossi overtakes Jorge Lorenzo in the World Championship, trailing Marquez.
At the beginning I was desperate because I think we had made a mistake. But lap-by-lap the rear was coming back. I had to concentrate and not make any mistake…It was a great race I’m very happy with this 20 points, because I am second in the championship. I think that today we did a good job and we made the right choice.
Brno qualifying traffic ‘like central Rome’
Rossi comments on the traffic during Czech GP qualifying. Rossi was fourth after the first runs in qualifying, but was not able to improve on his second run.
I’m not happy because I have to start from the second row. It is a shame I wasn’t able to make one clear lap because we have a better potential – I think we could start from the front row. I started with the harder [front tyre] and I did already [1m]55.5[s] but I knew that I had half-a-second of margin because I could use the soft in the second exit. But unfortunately in the second exit everybody was waiting, I was stuck in the traffic. It was like staying in the centre of Rome, everybody opened the throttle and then was waiting and braking. It was a big disaster, I tried to make a lap but I was in the confusion.
Sixth place on grid
Rossi places sixth on the grid for the Czech Republic GP, 0.913s behind Marc Marquez in pole position.
Outstanding lap from @marcmarquez93
All the more impressive considering the final sector #VR46 overtake!😳#CzechGP https://t.co/np7AkCie4t
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) August 20, 2016
Says Brno track limits weren’t made clear
Rossi says riders were not adequately informed about the Czech GP track limits. Including Rossi, seven riders had lap times cancelled in first practice for using a small section of the Brno track surface at the end of the final corner’s exit kerb, which had been deemed off limits. Infringements against eight riders were also recorded in the second session, again including Rossi, with 12 different riders, including Marc Marquez, getting penalties over the course of the day. Riders will ask for the section to be painted red, to make the limit clear.
It was not clear, simply because nobody said anything to us, Usually the track limits is that if you go over the kerb, but in this case a lot of riders had the lap cancelled because the kerb finishes but we still have some asphalt. I understood the situation in the afternoon, so I tried to stay one metre inside, because I didn’t know that after the kerb that asphalt is off of the track.
Friday Free Practice: 5th place
Rossi comes fifth overall after the two sessions of Friday’s Free Practice, 0.334 behind leader Marc Marquez.
The first feeling was not so bad: this morning and also this afternoon I was quite fast, we worked a lot. We have some different options and some different settings and also some different tyre choices on the front and the rear. I‘m not so bad, I‘m fifth but I‘m not so far from pole position. All the top riders are fast so we have a lot to do, a lot of work on the bike, but the first impression is positive. The lean angles changed a lot compared to last year‘s tyres, because last year we were able to lean more, with Michelin a little bit less because it‘s a different shape of tyre. It‘s just a feeling that you have to understand, usually it‘s the bike that tells to you how much you can do, that‘s always the limit. The best riders are able to go close to limit but not too much.
Predicts ‘great fight to the end’
Rossi comments on his standing, going into the Czech Republisc GP:
It’s still very long because there are eight races and at this moment you can have seven riders who are very strong who can fight for the victory. It depends very much from one track to another, so we have to try to be competitive and try to always be on the top. For us it is a great shame that we already have this disadvantage compared to Marc because we did some mistakes and also we were a bit unlucky. We have a good potential but we are quite far, so at this moment for us we need to do also something extra because we have to go faster but we have always to take points. We have to take it race by race and try to do the maximum because I think from here to the end it will always be a great fight…Also the speed of the Hondas [will be a factor] with Marc but also [Dani] Pedrosa, who is very strong in Brno, so all the top guys are in good shape. It’s a great track, I like it a lot and it is the race of my first victory, which is something unforgettable.
Rossi ‘curious’ over Brno potential
Rossi says he is ‘curious’ to discover if he can match Jorge Lorenzo’s pace at Brno in the Czech Republic GP.
I like that we go back on track immediately. In Austria I wanted to get on the podium but I wasn’t able to so unfortunately. Anyway, it was a good race. After the tests we were a little bit in trouble but during the race we didn’t do so badly. Now we go to Brno, a track that we know well and that I like very much. Last year Jorge was much faster than me and I’m curious to see if this year I will do better. We are working well and the Brno GP is close. I want to get back on track.
Backs dashboard messaging
Rossi says he supports the introduction of a MotoGP dashboard messaging system in 2017. The ‘virtual boarding’ system under development lets teams to send pitboard-style messages to a rider’s dashboard. Testing is slated to start at the Aragon round next month.
It’s good, I like it. During the race, especially in flag-to-flag, it can be a help. Also it can be good for safety – if you have a crash in front, or a yellow flag, or some people have a problem with the engine and there’s oil. Also because I always make the wrong decision! Maybe with the message in the dashboard it’s more easy.
‘Difficult to win’ points over Marquez
Roosi comments on closing the gap with Marc Marquez.
I’m very happy, because I recovered two points, so if we have 100 races, I can win the championship! Apart from jokes, it’s good to arrive in front of Marquez and we have to try to continue like this. For sure, in other tracks, the situation will change, but we have to try to stay always fast and take as many points as possible. It’s difficult to win a lot of points over Marquez, but the championship is very long so we have to try for maximum, also for second place [in the standings].
Austrian GP: Fourth place0 Comments
Rossi finishes the Austrian GP in fourth place, behind teammate Jorge Lorenzo in third. Rossi and Lorenzo trail the two Ducatis of race winner Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso through most of the race.
To arrive three seconds from the Ducati is a great result. We worked well and were quite competitive at a track that is not fantastic for our bike. But I’m not happy with fourth place, because my target was to arrive on the podium. The great shame personally is that Lorenzo arrived in front and also that we don’t fight. I want to try to make some overtake and fight for the podium, but it was difficult in braking and also on the exit of the corners. So the situation for me personally was not 100% under control. I had to risk too much. Every time I tried to get closer, I made some mistakes and at the end I finish just fourth.
Austrian GP: Second place on grid
Rossi takes second place on the Austrian GP grid, 0.147s behind Andrea Iannone, and ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo.
I’m very happy to start on the front row and also because I was able to split the two Ducatis. It’s important to start from the front row, but now we have to wait for tomorrow – the conditions, the temperature and especially the tyre choice will be very important, because it’s open, especially for the rear, soft or hard. We have to put one eye on the front, I hope, to try to stay with [the Ducatis], but also one eye on the second row, because on the second row we have Lorenzo, Marquez and Vinales, all three have the pace to fight for the victory. The strongest six riders of the season are all in the first two rows, so it can be a good battle.
Friday Free Practice: 4th place
After finishing FP2 in fourth — 0.866s back of pace setter Andrea Dovizioso, and 0.6s off Andrea Iannone — Rossi says that he is concentrating on Ducati slipstream and fuel.
We have to just give the maximum, try to fix all the small details to go a bit faster on the straight. But you know, is very difficult to go faster on the straight. You can try to exit faster from the corner, but on the straight, the level is what it is. But you never know. It’s just Friday, we have Saturday, and especially the race is always different. It depends very much if we are able to keep the slipstream of the Ducati. The Ducati have a lot of horsepower, but what they are able to do better compared to the Yamaha and Honda is less wheelie. For this reason, they are very fast in acceleration. Because it looks like the bike accelerates more with less wheelie on the front. So for this reason it’s very difficult. It’s too early to say if we can fight with Ducatis. For me, for sure is more more important [Jorge] Lorenzo and [Marc] Márquez than the Ducati, but I don’t want to start just for third place. It’s too early. We have to try to stay with them. Also because 28 laps are very long.
Relationship with Marquez improving
Rossi says his relationship with Marquez has improved.
I think that after what happened, all the rest becomes not very important. Very very small. I think it’s the right thing to do. Our relationship has improved since Montmelo.
Spielberg Turn 8 ‘very dangerous’
Rossi says he is concerned about Turn 8 of the Austrian GP at Spielberg. Organisers took the decision to modify the final corner, Turn 10, by making the track narrower to reduce the risk of a serious accident by distancing the riders from the outside wall.
This track is very fast, and when a track is fast it’s always dangerous. Especially the exit of Turn 8 remains very dangerous. On a normal lap, you go through it quite easily, but it’s [taken at] very high speed and the wall is quite close. This for me is the most dangerous point that we have to try to improve in the next years.
Talks about first podium in Austria
Rossi talks about the Austrian GP track at Spielberg, where he had his first podium on the international finish, in 1997, as a 17-year-old.
It is a wonderful memory, my first podium was great and I could not have imagined what followed it. The track is similar to 20 years ago, when I raced with the 125, but the asphalt is new and has very good grip, it is very flat with no bounce. The track is so fast. I think it’s different to the other ones because you stay on the throttle for a lot of time, so maybe it will create a different kind of race.
On his challenges in the remaining season:
The gap of 59 points is hard to make back. In the last few races we have lost many points but we have to be strong and have the concentration to always get on the podium. The distance [to Marquez] is almost irretrievable. I will concentrate on these nine races and try to make more points than in the first half. We are starting an important moment of the season, because we have four races in five weeks and also five races in seven weeks. It’s good, because after Barcelona we had a long stop from one race to the other. That is not fantastic, and after the summer break I prefer it like this.
Says new tyres and ECU impact small
Rossi says the impact of MotoGP’s new-for-2016 tyres and control electronics on bike set-up has been smaller than he anticipated.
We tested three or four times with the Michelin tyres last year and this gave us a lot of worries because we were slow, we crashed, we didn’t have feeling with the front. Yamaha worked to develop a [new] bike that is quite different compared to the year before with the Bridgestone, with the different weight distribution and the [fuel] tank on the rear. But the Michelin tyres improved a lot, especially the front and at the end, essentially we are using a very similar set-up compared to Bridgestone, and this is good. With the electronics, we expected a big revolution, a big step back, but at the end it was a half-step back. The bike that I am using now is very similar to last year.