Rossi optimistic of tyre improvement
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, April 28th 2007, 09:31 GMT|
Valentino Rossi is optimistic that there will be no repeat of his Istanbul tyre dramas at next weekend's Grand Prix of China.
The Italian qualified on pole in Turkey but struggled to make his Michelins work in the race, falling to 10th by the chequered flag.
He hopes that Michelin's efforts in post-race testing last week will ensure that the problems are not repeated in Shanghai.
"We had a bad result in Turkey which we weren't expecting after being on pole, but Michelin have been working very hard to understand what went wrong and to ensure that it won't happen again," said Rossi.
"We had a good test on Monday and tried a lot of new tyre combinations with China in mind, so we are going there with some ideas about what we think will work. Now it's a case of making what is hopefully the right tyre choice and then seeing how things go on Friday morning."
But although Rossi is more confident about tyre performance, he remains concerned that Shanghai will favour the more powerful Ducati of title rival Casey Stoner, who has now won two of the first three races this season.
"We know it's not ideal for our bike and maybe they're going to have to split the main straight in two - one part for Ducati and one part for the rest of us!" said Rossi.
"Joking aside though, it's a very long straight and we know that we're going to lack some top speed on it but the new engine modifications we had in Turkey worked well and there's a good improvement, so hopefully it won't be too serious.
"We're second in the championship and we've lost a few points so we need to aim for a podium to get back on track."