Valentino Rossi says he is happy to find a “positive” feeling with his Yamaha following a disastrous Catalan Grand Prix that saw him crash out while running only 13th.
The Petronas SRT Yamaha rider displayed decent speed throughout Friday and Saturday running, posting a time in FP3 that was enough to grant him an automatic promotion to the pole shootout before qualifying 11th for Sunday’s 24-lap contest.
A poor start soon saw him drop well out of the points though, while a lack of pace throughout the encounter only allowed him to climb back to 13th by the time he crashed at Turn 10 eight laps from the race’s conclusion.
Speaking after Monday’s post-Catalan GP test at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, Rossi was satisfied to have found a much better feeling with his M1 relative to Sunday’s race outing, leaving him feeling “quite positive.”
“It was a good test for us because even though we didn’t have a lot of new stuff we had some new things (in set-up) to try,” explained Rossi.
“First of all we wanted to find why on Sunday (race) we were slower than our pace during practice, but today I was more in line with FP4 and warm-up.
“After this we worked on the bike and tried some different things, and in the end the feeling was quite positive, I was in the top ten and at the level I felt as was at during the (early part) of the weekend.
“I wasn’t so far from the best lap time, so that’s quite good.
“We also tried some different Brembo brakes for Austria because the brakes are under a lot of stress there, and the feeling was very good so we’ll definitely use them in Austria.”
Rossi put his lack of competitiveness during Sunday’s Catalan GP down to a lack of rear grip, the seven-time premier class champion accepting that he knew he was “in trouble right from the first lap.”
He was at a loss to explain the “bad” Catalan Grand Prix he suffered, the Italian frustrated as he lost “over half a second per lap” compared to practice.
“It was a bad race because we expected to be stronger and have a better pace because yesterday in FP3 and FP4 as well as this morning’s warm-up I was not so bad,” said Rossi.
“We decided to use the hard (tyre) for the race because we had a good feeling again in the afternoon, but in the race I had a lot less grip and I was in trouble from the beginning right from the first lap.
“I had no rear grip and then when you spin a lot the temperature goes up and then the tyre starts to vibrate so I was really slow.
“Then after I crashed at Turn 10, so it was a disappointment as I expected much more from the race.
“We have something to try (in Monday Barcelona test) to improve, something new from Yamaha and we want to try another hard and medium tyre because it was very strange that we had a good feeling in practice then lost over half-a-second per lap.”
Rossi remains only 19th overall in the riders standings after seven races in 2021, a run to tenth in the Italian GP at Mugello his best result so far.
He is still set to decide upon his future competing as a rider in MotoGP during the summer break, likely leaving him with only the two events at the Sachsenring and Assen respectively to find an upturn in competitiveness before potentially calling it quits on a top-flight racing career.
With his VR46 outfit making the step up to the premier class next season-likely with Ducati machinery- in place of the Avintia squad, a career switch to a rider coach/team manager role could very well be on the cards.