Monster Energy factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi was very self-critical, after the Italian missed out on the top ten and a subsequent provisional spot into Q2 after two free practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Rossi ended the morning session in fifth place, however, as times dropped in the afternoon, the Italian failed to cash in on the improved conditions for an improved lap time, blaming himself for the result.
“Unfortunately, I’m not in the top ten for just a small difference because this afternoon in the time attack, I didn’t ride very well and I lost a bit of time because I had some traffic,” said the 40-year-old.
“But the forecast for tomorrow morning is good, so I think that we will fight to stay in the top ten. The situation is always the same, there are a lot of different riders and different bikes that are very, very fast.
“So, tomorrow morning will be a very important practice but looks like especially about the pace we are a bit stronger than last year.”
Despite sitting in eleventh place after the opening day, Rossi is much closer to the leader than he was in 2018. ‘The Doctor’ explained that he did a lot of work on used Michelin tyres which could put him in a strong position come Sunday’s race, despite the track not suiting his YZR-M1.
“It looks like we are in a better situation compared to last year, “said Rossi. “Because also with the used tyre we keep quite a constant pace.
“This track is difficult because you have the long straight, but also very severe acceleration on the edge and this is hard work for the rear tyre, so, in the last years we suffered, not just in the top speed but also because we stress a bit too much the rear tyre.
“Looks like this year the electronic system works a bit better and also with the used tyre we can keep more constant pace.”