Monster Energy Yamaha factory MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi was left ruining a mistake in the opening stages of qualifying as the Italian crashed early, only qualifying in ninth position in Buriram.
The 40-year-old was excited about his qualifying pace on soft tyres, but an early crash at turn five left him on his second bike and without much time for a sustained second run. Rossi admitted it was his mistake, ruing his mistake and where it leaves him on the grid.
“Unfortunately, I made a mistake with the first tyre,” said the Italian.
“That’s a critical corner because there are a lot of bumps, but I think I entered a little wide and lost the front. A pity because I had the potential to do better.
“My pace in FP4 was good and I wanted to start inside the top five. I had time to get out on the second bike, but it was a bit different to the first and I didn’t have the same tyres. In the end I’ll start from the third row and this means it’ll all be more difficult, but I have good pace and hope it doesn’t rain.”
A lot has been said about how the layout of the circuit in Buriram suits the M1 more than some other circuits, with faster corners leading onto the longer straights more so than at Aragon last time out. When asked about that, Rossi said: “We were also fast here last year.
“The bike now rides well, and we have been able to improve acceleration thanks to work on the electronics, but Honda and Ducati are still stronger because they can be fast without overly stressing the rear tyre, and that’s very important in the race.
“It’s no coincidence that the Yamahas are quick in practice and then struggle more in the race, we need to work in that area.”
Rossi went out in FP4 on a set of soft front and rear tyres which raised a few eyebrows, Rossi explained that he is undecided what he will run tomorrow, so wanted to get a substantial number of laps into his soft tyres to evaluate how they will hold up.
“I get on well with the soft and wanted to use it for 15 or 16 laps to understand how it would behave in the race,” he said.
“It offered good grip, but I’ll decide tomorrow because the hard is also good, it will depend on the track conditions and the temperatures.”