Donington Park MotoGP: Valentino Rossi waiting on British weather

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Valentino Rossi has said he’ll be prepared to compete for a race win tomorrow come rain or shine, and with the temperamental British weather this weekend, it’s difficult to say which he’ll get.

Rossi was third yesterday in the dry and went one better today in the wet qualifying session, second only to the flying Casey Stoner with a lap time of 1.38.881.

The seven-time World Champion had struggled with grip levels in the dry and admitted the problem worsened in the wet, especially his morning session, which worried the Factory Fiat Yamaha rider.

He said: “I’m so happy with this qualifying result and it’s very important for us that we’re on the front row tomorrow.

“We know that our Bridgestone tyres are very fast in the wet but this morning we had some problems with the setting and honestly I was quite worried.

“Anyway, we made some important changes to the set-up for the afternoon and straight away the balance was better and I was able to open the throttle when I wanted to, in fact I had a lot of fun.

“With some small modifications throughout qualifying things got even better and lap-by-lap we were able to get faster, especially at the end.

“Now we are waiting for the weather in order to decide the tyres.

“If it’s dry we have quite a big question mark about some things but we have some good ideas and I am not too worried.”

Rossi, who said in a post-qualifying press conference it felt more like November than June today, spoke of his thoughts about his 200th GP, and his unbelievable record to date.

“I’ve never missed a GP – sometimes I have raced with broken bones like at Assen in 2006.

“It’s a lot of GP’s in a row, a lot of memories and a lot of wins and that’s an extra motivation for tomorrow.

“I don’t think there will be any celebrations if I win tomorrow because the podium is a big enough party with so many people there, and Chris [Vermeulen] denied me of that podium last year so I hope to be there for my 200th GP.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull