Valentino Rossi’s British GP charge stifled by tyre struggles
Valentino Rossi was left frustrated as he suffered rear tyre problems while trying to challenge for a podium finish at last weekend’s British GP at Silverstone.
Rossi looked set to fight for his first victory in over two years following qualifying, with the Yamaha M1 machine looking particularly strong across the weekend in the hands of Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo-who led three of the four free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.
The Italian managed second on the grid, just being beaten to pole by Marquez as the Honda man posted a late flyer to head Rossi by over four-tenths.
Ultimately though it was the Suzuki of Alex Rins who posed the greatest threat to Marquez and the pair quickly began to build an advantage over Rossi, leaving him to defend third from team-mate Maverick Vinales.
Vinales moved past Rossi just past a quarter distance though, and while the nine-time MotoGP champion was able to hang with the Spaniard for a few laps after he began to struggle significantly with his rear tyre just past half-distance and started to drop back further.
He was able to manage the gap to fifth placed Franco Morbidelli-also on a Yamaha- and take the chequered flag in fourth, although 11 seconds behind the leading trio.
Rossi believes his issues reflect problems with his own set-up, as team-mate Vinales was able to close down the battling leaders despite being several seconds behind mid-way through the 20 lap encounter, closing the gap to just 0.6 in third as they crossed the line.
“Yeah it’s another fourth place but it’s a bit disappointing as I expect more from the race as I started from the front row but especially because I usually have a good pace here,” said Rossi.
“Unfortunately today I suffered more with the rear tyre from the beginning of the race, I had less than grip than I wanted so I had to keep a solid pace but I suffered in the second half of the race and I had to slow down a lot.
“It is a shame as we expect more, we expect to fight for the podium and have a race like Maverick’s who did a great job but sadly we were a bit slower.
“The tyre at the end was pretty damaged but for me the problem was something on our side, as usually we suffer more with rear grip than Vinales or Quartararo.
“We have tried to work in a different way but we are on the limit. Throughout yesterday and this morning I was fast but this afternoon I suffered more so it is our problem, and we need to understand the way to improve this.”