Valentino Rossi is optimistic about his chances of having a successful campaign at Assen after he impressed during the two free practice sessions on Friday.
Despite finding the going tough in the morning due to bad weather, the Movistar Yamaha rider took advantage of the sunshine in the afternoon and subsequently finished just 0.004 behind Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.
While Rossi was pleased with his pace and competitiveness during the two free practice sessions, he admitted that it was disappointing to have come so close to outpacing Iannone.
“I found it hard in the morning because the track was slippery, but we made some very good changes in the afternoon and I was fast and competitive,” Rossi told reporters. “I had a good lap, but unfortunately Iannone did slightly better than I could.”
The 37-year-old also made it clear that he will stick to using the standard chassis as it felt more comfortable.
“In Barcelona we tried a different chassis but I wasn’t very sure about the improvement so today we compared another time in another track and at the end preferred the standard chassis, because I had a better front feeling,” he said. “Tomorrow I will use the standard one. There is not a big difference it is a small modify, but I prefer the normal one.”
In the first free practice session, Rossi tested out the harder rear tyre compound, but he acknowledged that the weather conditions on Sunday will play a big factor in which tyre he decides to use for the race.
“For the front I am quite sure the medium tyre of the three is the best one,” he said. “For the rear I want to try and work on the harder rear tyre because the first impression with the softer is that it is too soft, but the door is open.
“Also depends on the conditions and the track improves very much from the beginning to the end because you put rubber on the ground so we need to understand if it rains or not. If it rains overnight it will clean (the track). I prefer 100 percent the dry and here in Assen the forecast is always very difficult and I so hope very much for a dry race.”