Valentino Rossi pins Q2 pace deficit on tyre pressure 'mistake'

Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi has revealed that his qualifying run at Motegi was compromised by a tyre pressure "mistake"

Valentino Rossi pins Q2 pace deficit on tyre pressure 'mistake'

Rossi had been just 0.011s off pole in the preceding round in Thailand, but reverted to form in Japan, qualifying a distant ninth.

However, the Italian was the only rider in Q2 not to improve on his second run - and believes he would have ended up higher up the order if not for a mishap in his pit box.

"Unfortunately we did a mistake with the rear tyre in the box, with the pressure," he told BT Sport.

"It's a shame because with the first tyre I was not so bad, P5, and with the second tyre I could improve, so I think I could have started on the second row, which I think is my level."

The error aside, the works Yamaha performance was still a climbdown after their Thailand breakthrough, with the other factory bike of Maverick Vinales seventh.

Rossi attributed the mismatch in pace to having had harder-construction rear tyres available in Buriram, but reckoned he will still be able to fight out front in what should be "a very open race" on Sunday.

"Thailand was a surprise, we can use the hard tyres that help us more," he said.

"It looks like this weekend we are more similar to the other races of the second half of the season.

"It's also true we can do a good race, I think, because there are a lot of riders with similar pace.

"It will be very important to work tonight in a good way to improve in some places, because my pace is not fantastic, but it's constant. I can go to the end of the race.

"The start, first lap and tyre choice will be important, but it looks like tomorrow will be a very open race. To win will be difficult. Maybe I can get a podium, top five, we will try."

Vinales, who was on the podium in Thailand and stated on Friday at Motegi that Yamaha's gains had been "confirmed", attributed his struggles to a lack of rear grip.

"In Buriram I could stop much more in the beginning of the braking, which permits me to enter the corner faster and with more banking [lean angle]," he explained.

"Today it was impossible for me to use the tyres, I just ran wide and wide and wide. I was really limited about bike behaviour, I couldn't push like in Thailand.

"In Thailand I could ride more, like one metre inside, one metre outside, trying to find the better line. Here I'm grip-limited, I have only one line and I need to follow it."

shares
comments
Bautista set to replace Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo for next MotoGP race

Previous article

Bautista set to replace Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo for next MotoGP race

Next article

Motegi MotoGP: Marc Marquez lacked confidence on second bike after crash

Motegi MotoGP: Marc Marquez lacked confidence on second bike after crash
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021