Rossi: Silverstone MotoGP qualifying made sweeter by retirement calls

Valentino Rossi says securing a front row starting spot for MotoGP's British Grand Prix was made sweeter by recent calls from his detractors that he should retire

Rossi: Silverstone MotoGP qualifying made sweeter by retirement calls

The Yamaha rider equalled his best qualifying performance of 2019 at Silverstone as he ended up behind only Marc Marquez, securing his first front row since April's Austin race.

Rossi's form has improved marginally since the summer break, with solid showings at Brno and the Red Bull Ring following a miserable run of races during which speculation emerged that the 40-year-old could retire at the end of the year.

Asked if he felt he had answered his critics with his qualifying performance, Rossi said: "I know I have the motivation and I can be strong, because I also feel good physically.

"[My performance] depends very much on the feeling on the bike - in the mid-part of the season I was optimistic because there are tracks I like, but we were in a very bad situation, we got lost a little bit because I am not able to ride the bike.

"We also see [this] with [Jorge] Lorenzo. If you are not at 100%, you are not P7, you are P18, because everybody is strong.

"It's normal at my age and at my point of my career, if I make three very bad races people start to say, 'He's old, it's time to stay at home' - it's like this.

"For this reason I'm happier, because I know if I can ride well, I can be competitive.

"It's already a good result, but it's important tomorrow to make a good race and fight for the podium."

While Rossi admitted the flowing layout of the Silverstone circuit was helping Yamaha, he said the manufacturer had also boosted its form by doing "clever things".

"The layout of the track, the radius of the corners are good for our bike," he added. "The new asphalt with a good grip helps.

"But it looks like Yamaha start to work in the right direction. They've started to do clever things, change the situation very much compared to the last two years, and it already looks like [things are improving] with some small adjustments.

"The bike is better, we accelerate better, the bike is easier to ride in more or less every part of the corner.

"Also [even] if we are not fast enough on the straight, on the rest I think we improved in general."

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