Bad Friday shaped Yamaha's German Grand Prix MotoGP strategy call

Valentino Rossi says Yamaha's struggles in cool conditions in Friday practice shaped its decision to run intermediate tyres in the second phase of the German Grand Prix

Bad Friday shaped Yamaha's German Grand Prix MotoGP strategy call

The seven-time MotoGP champion was in the lead pack that ultimately pitted too late and was overrun by Honda's Marc Marquez, who stopped six laps earlier and for slick tyres as the Sachsenring dried.

Second behind Andrea Dovizioso when he entered the pitlane, Rossi had a slow out-lap on intermediates and was also passed by the slick-shod Cal Crutchlow, Dani Pedrosa and Jack Miller as he fell to finish eighth.

Rossi said the decision was largely due to Yamaha's lack of feeling during Friday's dry practice sessions.

"I was very slow in the second part of the race with the intermediates on the track that was coming dry," he explained.

"About the strategy, in reality, if I stopped two or three laps earlier, it doesn't change a lot.

"I think that if I stopped earlier I would have finished in sixth place.

"But I entered the pits together with Crutchlow and Dovi but the bigger problem was that when I restarted and went back out onto the track, I had no feeling with the bike.

"It was very, very slow and the first lap I lost like 10 seconds because I couldn't feel the bike, I couldn't feel the tyres.

"I don't know if it was the wrong choice, it would be interesting to try the slick if we could go back in the time, but on paper with the slicks it can also be more difficult.

"In these conditions, I am not very strong, but also our bike is very difficult to ride because it doesn't give enough feeling to push from the beginning."

With his third victory of the season, Marquez extended his championship lead over Rossi to 59 points, with his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo now 48 in arrears after finishing his torrid weekend a distant 15th.

Lorenzo was slightly more competitive in the wet conditions than at Assen three weeks earlier, but "started losing front feeling" as the track dried and finished 77 seconds behind Marquez.

Having been the second-last rider to pit, while he waited for Yamaha's call, and then for intermediates, Lorenzo acknowledged "we made a mistake on the strategy".

"We discussed a little bit but maybe this discussion or meeting was not enough big and deep to understand what to do in all of the scenarios," he said.

"We were not prepared enough, I think, to choose the right decision.

"We'll have a reason to learn for the future, if this happens again."

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