MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has admitted he needs to be “stronger tomorrow” to fight with his title rival and teammate Jorge Lorenzo at Silverstone in the British Grand Prix.
Rossi was only 10th fastest in practice today, almost a second slower than pacesetter Lorenzo, and admits to struggling to find more speed.
They are currently tied on 211 points at the head of the MotoGP standings.
“This morning wasn’t so bad, but we had some more problems this afternoon because we tried to modify the bike to improve the tyre life but I wasn’t fast and strong enough,” said Rossi. “I didn’t feel very well on the bike and lost some positions.
“The practice in the afternoon was a bit difficult, but we were able to try some different things and now we will check the data and try to put it all together to be stronger tomorrow.”
Rossi thinks that the British weather could now play a part in the outcome of the weekend, and could disrupt his quest to improve his bike.
“Here in Silverstone the weather is always a big question mark and just like everybody else we would prefer all practice sessions to be dry, but that might not be possible because the weather is becoming worse,” he added.
“Fortunately I’m in the top 10, so it’s not a big problem if we have a wet practice tomorrow, but we all hope for a dry session so we can improve the setting.”
Lorenzo sitting pretty
In contrast, Lorenzo enjoyed a strong day – but was only 0.033s faster than Honda’s Marc Marquez by the end of the second session.
“The feeling has been good from the beginning,” said Lorenzo. “I didn’t expect to improve so much in the afternoon session on my first run, but my lap time was suddenly a second quicker and was fast enough for me to stay in first position.
“We still need to improve our pace a little bit, because the track is very cold and this made the tyre go down a little bit after every run. We need to work on the bike to make it easier on tyre-life to be able to keep up a higher pace.
“The car racing at Silverstone is making the asphalt very bumpy, especially on braking, and I think it‘s a bit slower compared to last year, but the bikes seem to be faster, making the lap times similar.”