MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi believes he is in the mix for victory in Sunday’s Czech Grand Prix at Brno after qualifying on the front row.
Rossi hasn’t started from the front row for the last two races – since his Assen pole – and was down on row three at Indianapolis last time out, which gave him no chance of sticking with title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez during the race.
“For sure I’m very happy, because it’s important to start from the front row,” said Rossi, who will start third behind polesitter Lorenzo and Marquez tomorrow.
“We worked a lot in free practice, and from this morning we found a good way. We improved the settings a lot in the last practice, so we had a strong pace.
“Qualifying is always important, especially when you have to fight with Marc and Jorge, who are very fast from the beginning. Starting from the front row makes it much more easy to stay with them.
"It looks like it will be a good fight, because we are all on the first row and we have the best pace; also [Andrea] Iannone is very fast, and maybe he can stay with us."
Opening laps crucial
Asked if Brno was poised to be the battle of the season so far with the top three riders all on the front row, Rossi replied: "It depends very much what happens on the first laps.
"The start is very important; for example if Jorge starts well and gets away at the front, it won’t be a battle of the battles."