Jerez MotoGP: Grip bigger issue than shoulder, says Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi reckons a rear grip issue is causing more trouble than his damaged right shoulder after he just missed claiming a place on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Spanish MotoGP race.

The Italian’s best time of 1.39.558 secured Rossi fourth on the grid for the 27-lap race as he finished just 0.047s slower than Casey Stoner in third. 

But Rossi, who triumphed in an enthralling season opener in Qatar last month, is worried that rear grip issues might hamper his bid for a 105th career success.

The 31-year-old said: “The shoulder is a lot better than the setting. Compared to yesterday it has improved a lot. I have a lack of power in the hard braking but a lot less pain compared to yesterday and the M1 is the best treatment for the shoulder.

“This afternoon we improve a lot but unfortunately we don’t fix the main issue that is the rear grip. We find a good balance with the bike but I struggle too much in acceleration. I lose too much time when I open the throttle.

“For tomorrow we need to modify something else to improve the rear grip if we want to make a good race. After some laps I slide too much and I had a quite good pace with hard tyres but I am two or three tenths slower compared to Jorge (Lorenzo) and Dani (Pedrosa).

“Starting from the second row is more difficult because close to me is Randy de Puniet, Nicky (Hayden) and Ben (Spies) that are not very slow. It will be very important to make a good start and remain with Stoner, Lorenzo and Dani.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt