Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP worries have moved on from race-end tyre life to the fact that he had the slowest top speed of all the point-scorers at the Le Mans MotoGP round.
The Doctor struggled to stay in the slipstream of the Ducatis and lone, race-winning Honda at a circuit where Yamaha’s corner speed is usually enough to make up the difference.
Rossi was nearly seven miles per hour slower than Andrea Dovizioso through the speed trap during Sunday’s encounter with the Italian’s GP19 clocking 194.3mph.
“I wasn’t fast enough, I lose too much in the straight and acceleration from the low-speed corners,” said Rossi, speaking at the track.
“All the race I try to start there, don’t lose the slipstream to try to fight for the podium. The podium was my target but unfortunately was not enough for the Ducati.”
Rossi is pleased that some of the problems with grip at the end of races have been attended to but while the Iwata engineers were doing that, Honda and Ducati found a shitload more power.
The good thing is that at the end I was good, I was able to come back, looks like that in the last laps we have fewer problems compared to last year, this is very positive but is not enough for try for the podium,” said Rossi.
“It’s like this. We improve tyre life with some different things on the bike, the bike is very good to ride.
“Looks like the others make another step, especially Honda, and now the difference is very big in the straight. Is enough that you check the speed in the sheet. In all the race we suffer very much.”
Rossi was easily the slowest of the Yamahas. Fabio Quartararo was quickest at 190mph followed by satellite Petronas team-mate Franco Morbidelli at 188.6. Maverick Vinales clocked 188.4 with Rossi at 187.5.