Rossi: Front row slot shows my improvement
13 July 2013 – Valentino Rossi says he is happy with his performance in qualifying for Sunday’s German Grand Prix, stating that his first front-row grid slot since 2010 represents evidence of his constant improvement in speed as he gets used to Yamaha machinery.
After delivering a first winner’s trophy since October 2012 in Assen two weeks ago, Rossi has continued to show signs of front-running pace throughout this weekend, topping Saturday’s final practice session. The seven-time champion had seemed set to take pole position during qualifying, but was outperformed in the final sector by eventual pace-setter Marc Marquez. Despite this, the Yamaha rider is remaining cautious about his chances of victory, believing that the Repsol Honda bike has the edge on the twisty Sachsenring circuit.
"I'm so happy because last time I was on the front row – Le Mans 2010 – was a long, long time ago," he said. "I have been struggling a lot this season to have a good qualifying session, but now we are more competitive. I am a bit worried about the second part of the race; that will be very hard for everybody. If we want to stay with Marc we have to make a small improvement for tomorrow."
Although admitting that the team has work to do, Rossi commented that happening upon the right setup may be the key to beating Marquez on Sunday.
"The bike is OK, but we can go faster," he added. "We have to improve a bit – for me the bike slides too much. Now we have to put everything together for tomorrow and try to slide the rear a bit less. The target was to start on the first row, because it's important for tomorrow. It will be a strange feeling to have nobody in front."