Rossi not feeling pressure from continued MotoGP woes

Valentino Rossi says he is not feeling any extra pressure despite his continuing struggles on his Petronas SRT Yamaha MotoGP bike, after ending Friday’s Spanish Grand Prix practice in 21st.

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

The nine-time grand prix world champion, who has joined the satellite squad for 2021 from the factory Yamaha squad, has scored just four points so far on the same bike which has won all three races to date.

Rossi’s struggles continued on Friday at Jerez as he ended the day 1.4 seconds off the best pace of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, while his three Yamaha stablemates filled up the top five.

Explaining his issues at Jerez – where Rossi took his last MotoGP podium in 2020 – the Italian explained his usual rear grip issue on the M1 had been to blame for leaving him “not fast enough”.

“Difficult day because I’m not fast enough,” he said.

“My pace was a bit better than the time attack, also the time attack unfortunately on the good lap I touched the green [run-off]. If not, I was two or three positions more in front, nothing special.

“My pace also is a bit better but I’m not fast enough. I have similar problem because I always suffer very much with the rear grip, especially after some laps.

“For me it’s difficult, the rear tyre, because I slide a bit too much.

“Today we tried different things, two different bikes, but the feeling is very similar. So, we are not able at this moment to fix the problem.

“Tomorrow we will try something and hopefully the condition of the bike will improve.”

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Rossi is expected to make a decision on his racing future in the coming events, which are all traditionally strong venues for him.

But when asked by Autosport if he was feeling pressure given that decision is looming while he continues to struggle, he replied: “I don’t know. I don’t feel with a lot of pressure, sincerely.

“Physically I’m not so bad, the problem is I’m not fast enough. So, I don’t have other particular problems.”

Rossi also conceded he’s “not happy” with his current speed, adding: “Riding the bike and being here and working is good, is great, but the results are crucial.

“So, you need to be strong, maybe also you don’t have to always win but to fight for the podium, to fight for the important positions.

“So, for that reasons I’m not happy because I’m not fast and when you are slow, it’s not very fun.”

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