MONTMELÒ – He is a Valentino Rossi who always wants to be ironic: “At my age, one negative turn is enough and they say I’m too old and I have to retire ”.
After yesterday’s bad day, however, Valentino was the protagonist of a more than discreet Saturday: entered the ten in FP3, a result celebrated by the team as a pole, he finished qualifying in 11th position, but with an interesting race pace.
“This is a circuit that I really like, here I drive well and we were able to improve the set-up of the bike. Unfortunately, yesterday we took the wrong turn in FP2: it happens to everyone, not just me, but when it happens to me it is immediately pointed out that I am too old and I have to retire. But that’s normal in today’s MotoGP. Today I had a great feeling with the bike, I enjoyed myself”.
After FP3, your tenth position in the garage was celebrated as a pole: is it because the team is under pressure?
“The team works hard, I work hard, they all have great enthusiasm and they are all sorry when I go wrong and are behind. Everyone knows we need to get results, everyone supports me: right now, for us, entering Q2 is a good result. I think that’s more, I’m not under pressure ”.
How is the tire situation?
“Here it drops a lot, we need to make the right choice at the rear, but also at the front. I don’t think, however, that it will be a management race, everyone will shoot from the start, because lately the races are decided by 85% in the first two laps ”.
In 2020 you were playing for the victory: can you be the protagonist also tomorrow?
“Last year I was very strong, more or less like this year, the difference is that in 2021 everyone is much faster. Last year, when I crashed, I was 0 ”7 behind Quartararo, but then I started from the front row, today I’m 11th … So, it will be much more complicated and difficult than in 2020, but I have the potential to do a good race, I feel good with the bike ”.
It happens more and more often, even in MotoGP, that you are looking for a “tow”: you did it too today, but practically all the riders do it; is there a reason?
“When the gaps are so small and a tenth and a half is enough to be in the first or third row, everyone, more or less, try to try to have that little bit more, because that tenth changes the race. It is not as fundamental as in Moto3, but it is much more important than in Moto2 ”.
It goes much stronger than in the past: is it so stressful?
“It’s a nice ‘fist’. It’s tough, it’s very difficult, the level is very high, everyone is strong. For someone in my condition, it becomes difficult: today, in FP3, I entered Q2 by a hair, but I was only 0 ”5 from the first. In the past, with that gap, you were in the front row. It is tough, even if beautiful and spectacular. But tough “.
Follow the Catalunya GP 2021 on our LIVE
Follow the commentary on qualifying in Barcelona with Zam and Lucio Cecchinello LIVE TODAY AT 8.45pm
Review the commentary from free practice in Barcelona with Zam and Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Team Manager
The times of the race on TV on Sky, DAZN and TV8
“There is so much to do for safety”, the editorial by Nico Cereghini