Marlboro Ducati’s Valentino Rossi has targeted a battle with Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli as the place he wants to be in tomorrow’s Motegi MotoGP race after narrowly beaten to a second-row start by his large-barneted countryman.
The Doctor had managed to claw his way up to sixth place and looked set to stay there until Simoncelli, who crashed early in the session, found a couple of tenths with his final lap to push Rossi down the order.
“We’re pretty satisfied, although we can’t celebrate seventh place. Still, I was able to ride the bike a bit better. We improved the setting again this morning, and I was faster in the afternoon. We’ve changed the weight distribution for Motegi, and now I can ride more naturally, though still not as I would like," said the nine-time world champion.
"Our goal was to manage to lap at 1:46.5, and as we were able to do that, I’d say we worked well. Also, our pace with the hard tyre isn’t bad. We’re not far from Spies and Simoncelli. We hope to get a good start, and then we’ll see. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain, as I’d like a dry race.”