Today has been a day to forget for the factory Movistar Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at Phillip Island, after disappointing qualifying positions for both of them left the pair outside the top ten on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Rossi was the worst of the duo, failing to even make the cut to move from qualifying one to qualifying two for the first time since the format was introduced, after making errors both on and off the track in tricky conditions.
“It was a very strange day when it comes to the conditions, because they changed continuously and unfortunately we were never strong starting from this morning. We are a little bit worried because, though we know in these conditions it is difficult for everybody, I never felt the right feeling on the wet and the dry.
“Yesterday morning we started quite well, but today we had some problems so we start towards the back of the grid. We hope for better conditions because it looks like with our bike we suffer a bit. It depends very much on the pace what happens tomorrow, it looks like when it is very cold we struggle to get the tyres up to temperature and the bike becomes very difficult to ride.
“Starting from fifteenth is a problem for sure, if you want to try to win it is quite impossible, but if you are fast you can do a good race. So this is what we have to try.”
It wasn’t much better for teammate Lorenzo, making it through to qualifying two by the skin of his teeth only to see his wet weather demons return, eventually finishing the second session last and nearly seven seconds off pole man Marc Marquez’s pace.
“We‘ve reached the second qualifying luckily, because some of the riders put in the mixed tyres when the track wasn‘t ready yet. That‘s why we were able to finish in second and get through to Q2, but in that session with the slicks was probably the worst scenario to try to make the step I needed in these difficult and dangerous conditions.
“We‘ve not been lucky with the weather; too much rain, then no rain, there was wind and it‘s been very cold. Considering all negative circumstances today it was not possible for me to be fast.”
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