until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Is this Rossi’s best chance of a last MotoGP hurrah?

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Valentino Rossi has assessed Sunday’s British Grand Prix as one of his best chances of success in his final MotoGP season and his last visit to Silverstone as a top-flight rider.

It’s probably the first time since the season opener in Qatar, where he qualified fourth, that Rossi as went into a race day upbeat – but despite starting this Silverstone race from a little bit further back on the third row, he’s nonetheless confident that there is just as much potential for a good result as there has been at some of his other favourite tracks of the year.

“In Qatar, I was better in qualifying,” the seven time world champion told The Race, “but my pace is better now. It’s also true that for example in Assen and especially Barcelona I had very strong pace, but afterwards in the race we had some other problems and in the race I wasn’t so competitive.

“The good and the bad of MotoGP is that you never know what will happen in the race, and it depends very much on the tyre choice. You never know if you’ve made the right choice, and it depends very much on things like the temperature. I don’t know, but I hope to do a good race.”

Rossi spent much of Saturday analysing the differences in Michelin’s two raceable options. Still undecided on which one to use as he and his Petronas Yamaha team await what the British weather brings them on Sunday, he says there are pluses and minuses to both the hard and the medium.


However, with a weather forecast hinting at a warmer race day than there has been throughout the weekend, the chance to use his preferred choice of tyre might be enough to just tip the balance a little more in his favour.

“In FP4 I always ride alone to try and understand the tyres,” he explained, “and the tyre will be very important because it’s very open between the medium and the hard. A lot of riders look better with the medium and I am a little better with the hard, and we need to understand the condition and the temperature tomorrow.

Aug 06 : Valentino Rossi's MotoGP retirement

“Before FP4 I was more for the medium, because the hard with low temperatures is difficult to put into the right temperature. But this afternoon I was a bit faster with the hard, and it will be difficult to arrive to the end of the race with the medium.

“On the other hand, the hard is also not easy to arrive at the end with, and you have to understand which tyre degrades while losing less time. It’s not always that the hard is better at the end.”

There’s one other factor that works in Rossi’s favour – a huge love of the Silverstone track. A fan of MotoGP’s classic venues like Mugello and Assen as well as the British circuit, he admitted that his love of it might be part of the reason why he finds it so easy to go fast there.

“I always like the long tracks with a lot of corners,” he added, “the very technical tracks – and Silverstone is very technical. You have everything – no up and down, but very slow corners and also very fast corners. This track puts together all the classic tracks in a good balance with the new one. Silverstone was modified and the new layout is better than the old one.

“Usually in a track like this, the rider can make more of the difference. I don’t know if it’s because of this, because a lot of different things help a rider to feel good at a track. I like Silverstone, and maybe that’s why when I ride here I am able to go faster.”

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