Valentino Rossi: Q1 mistake only worth 'two or three' spots
Valentino Rossi says his mistake in waiting too long to find a tow on MotoGP Q1 at Aragon only cost him “two or three” spots, as the Yamaha rider set to start the race from 17th.
Rossi failed to make it into the Q2 places at the end of FP3, and had to contest the Q1 session for the second time in four races as Yamaha's electronic woes continue to plague the Italian.
Only fifth in Q1 at the end of his first run, Rossi was only able to manage one flying tour at the end of the session as he completed his out-lap incredibly slowly in a bid to pick up a slipstream.
This proved costly, as Rossi's final attempt of 1:48.627s was only good enough for 18th, his worst qualifying result since the 2006 Dutch TT – though he will start one place higher due to a grid penalty for Marc VDS' Franco Morbidelli.
Rossi admits he would only have made up “maybe two or three” spots without his error, and says Yamaha's problems persist regardless of the changes the team makes during the weekend to the M1.
“Yeah, was a very difficult day from the morning, because we try to modify [the bike] compared to yesterday, because yesterday we were in the top 10 but the feeling was quite bad,” he said.
“But we did also worse, I think, and in this morning's FP3 I made a crash, so I was into Q1.
“In the Q1 I wait too much and I don't make a good lap, but even if I did make a good lap I could maybe start two or three positions in front.
“But I don't have unfortunately the pace for the Q2, it's difficult because practice by practice we try a lot of different things and the problems remain the same.
“So you have the feeling what we can do here in the box is not enough.”
Teammate Maverick Vinales also had to go through Q1, but progressed through with a two-tenth margin over LCR's Takaaki Nakagami.
The Spaniard was only able to qualify 11th – but will start three place further back due to impeding KTM's Bradley Smith in Q1 – though he feels his performance does not show his true “potential”, as he encountered a technical issue with his electronics in the pole shootout session.
“Today's qualifying results don't fully show our potential,” claimed Vinales.
“I feel I could have done a little bit better, because I had some problems with the electronics in Q2.
“We need to keep working, we still have some time. We need to try to keep the motivation high and let's see if we can do a bit better tomorrow.
“[Regarding grid penalty] rules are rules, and I think I was on the [racing] line on Bradley's hot lap, so this is the way it is.”