Valentino Rossi takes blame for poor MotoGP Le Mans qualifying

Valentino Rossi says a combination of a wrong strategy call, mistakes and traffic contributed to him qualifying seventh at Le Mans

Valentino Rossi takes blame for poor MotoGP Le Mans qualifying

A far cry from taking pole position at Jerez a fortnight ago, Rossi could only manage a spot on the third row of the grid, 0.854 seconds behind Yamaha team-mate and polesitter Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi's initial strategy was thwarted when he had to take evasive action to avoid a crashed Dani Pedrosa at Turn 4, and while he also struck traffic, he concedes a mistake on his final lap was ultimately costly.

"We did a wrong strategy and unfortunately I was stuck in the traffic, I lost a lot of time," he said.

"But at the end, I had another chance to make one good lap and it was not so bad, but I made a mistake in section three and I lost a lot.

"My potential was to start with the top five.

"I have to start from the third row, from seventh, so it's more difficult.

"The pace is not so bad, but from the third row everything is more difficult, but we can try to make a not so bad race.

"If we are able to improve two or three points, two tenths per lap, I can be also more competitive."

While Lorenzo has been the form rider so far this weekend, finishing 0.441s clear of the field in qualifying, Rossi lost time on Friday due to an unbalanced front tyre.

He says spending too long on the harder rear tyre was a bigger setback, but knows the areas he needs to address to reduce Lorenzo's deficit.

"We lose a bit in two or three braking [areas], he's able to stop the bike in a better way, and we lose a little bit on the straight also," Rossi said.

"So it depends on some settings, we need to improve in two or three points."

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