Valentino Rossi hailed his first front-row start in MotoGP for three years as further proof of his growing competitiveness since returning to Yamaha. However, the seven-time champion believes repeating his victory in the Dutch TT will be difficult because of the pace of poleman Marc Marquez. Rossi fears the Honda rider might be out of reach in the second half of tomorrow’s race.
“I’m so happy because last time I was on the front row — Le Mans 2010 — was a long, long time ago,” he said. “I have been struggling a lot this season to have a good qualifying session, but now we are more competitive.
“I am a bit worried about the second part of the race; that will be very hard for everybody. If we want to stay with Marc we have to make a small improvement for tomorrow.”
Despite his concerns over the pace of the Honda, Rossi believes with the right set-up changes he can still challenge for the win.
“The bike is OK, but we can go faster,” he added. “We have to improve a bit – for me the bike slides too much.Now we have to put everything together for tomorrow and try to slide the rear a bit less. The target was to start on the first row, because it’s important for tomorrow. It will be a strange feeling to have nobody in front.”