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Sachsenring MotoGP: Valentino Rossi predicts tough race from third row

Published: 12 July 2008

Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi reckons he’s in for a tough German GP at the Sachsenring tomorrow after he was left languishing on the third row of the grid.

The Italian could only log a best time of 1.21.845 as he had a difficult session to finish over 0.7s adrift of dominant Ducati rider Casey Stoner.

Rossi looked like he would at least claim a place on the front row but he encountered team-mate Jorge Lorenzo at the final corner and missed out on utilising the best of four Bridgestone qualifying tyres had in his allocation.

The 29-year-old, who has won at the Sachsenring previously from 11th on the grid, said: “Today things didn’t go how we hoped with the qualifying tyres! We had four as usual and, with the best one, unfortunately I found Jorge on the last corner. He was slowing down to enter the pits and he didn’t see me, this was just unlucky because I think that lap could have been good enough for the second row. Then with my last tyre my lap looked like it would be good enough for the front row but I had some problems with grip on the last two corners and I lost about half a second, so finally we are on the third row! I know I have passed many riders before here but everyone is so close now that I know it will be very hard and so it’s going to be very important that I get a good start. Luckily after the problems of yesterday and this morning we have found a good setting and a good Bridgestone tyre, and this afternoon we were as fast as Pedrosa so I think if I can manage not to lose too many places in the first few laps, then I can fight for the podium. This is my target for tomorrow.”

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