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MotoGP – Rossi: “I have taken a step forward, but I want more”

Apart from the first qualifying session of the course, in Qatar, in which he placed fourth on the grid after a last fast lap by Pecco Bagnaia, the ninth place he will occupy this Sunday at Le Mans is his best starting position of the season and an example of the difficulties that the oldest rider in MotoGP is going through.

Rossi, whose best position at the end of the race is 12th place in Losail, hopes that this French Grand Prix will be the turning point he needs to turn around one of the most complicated episodes of his career.

In a fast-paced timed session, with a heart-stopping final few minutes due to the intermittent rain, Rossi got the strategy right and was, along with his Petronas teammate, Franco Morbidelli, the only one who came out of the blue with smooth tires. 

However, the jolt his M1 gave him at the end of his second flying lap lowered the confidence with which he was driving and conditioned him for the rest of the session. 

“This result is much better. I will start from the third row and my pace is not as bad as in the previous races. On the second lap I had a scare and almost crashed, and on the last lap I was too conservative. Otherwise, I could have gained some positions”, summed up Rossi, who, despite having confirmed that the modifications made to the M1 in the collective test in Jerez work, is not satisfied with that. 

“It’s the results that count. In the test I improved my pace and my fastest lap, and here we have confirmed it. We have taken a step, but I want more. We are working well”, added Il Dottore , for whom the most complicated aspect to manage this Sunday will be, without any doubt, the cold and the rain that all the forecasts anticipate. 

“The whole weekend at Le Mans is very dangerous. Michelin tells us that the tires work when the temperature of the asphalt reaches 20 degrees, and that means that in the environment there must be around 15 degrees, or 16. Here, we are between seven and nine degrees in the environment”, pointed out the of Tavullia.

“It is very difficult to race here in this weather, which can change every 15 minutes. Because you get to areas of the circuit that are wet and you have to slow down a lot. Many patches of water, moreover, are not seen. The combination of low temperatures and rain is the worst of all,” Rossi warned. 

The photos of Valentino Rossi at the 2021 MotoGP French Grand Prix

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