Valentino Rossi was in good humour on Thursday when he was asked about how he felt after his home Grand Prix at Mugello ended with the nine times world champion crashing with Alvaro Bautista on the opening lap:
“I am very good,” said Rossi. “On Monday it was hard to wake up from the bed, I had a lot of pain everywhere. Afterwards though no problem…just a pain the ass! I mean this ideologically as well as reality because I had a big pain in my ass but I’m OK now.”
The Catalan Grand Prix has been a happy hunting ground for Rossi with the Italian having won nine times at the track. Returning to the scene of so much success obviously gives Rossi confidence and at the pre race press conference he said:
After such a disappointing start to the season Rossi knows that it is crucial for him to find good form at Montmelo but he saw lots of positives from his home race even though it ended early. He did however admit that qualifying is still a problem for him and something that he needs to improve upon this weekend with a top six qualifying effort his target:
“Apart from the race Mugello was a positive race for me and my team but we still have to go faster, especially on Saturday afternoon. I am not strong enough and the other riders are able to go improve more their laptime. But except for [the race crash] I had a good pace in all the practices but we need to make another step and start in the second row.
“For me the main problem is that with just 15 minutes [in Qualifying 2] it is very difficult to understand the right moment to go on the track. You have to improve your lap time but be very careful not to have another rider behind. if you go faster and give a good slipstream maybe two or three riders can overtake you and you start behind them. It is a lot about the strategy of having a clear lap and also no one behind you.”