Valentino Rossi expressed his satisfaction with his performance in Friday's second practice at the Valencia MotoGP, despite finishing 0.364s behind team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo.
Topping the timesheets was nothing new for Lorenzo this season, but Rossi performed better than usual on day one.
“I'm quite happy, quite satisfied about this Friday because we start well from the morning and especially we work well during the practice and I was able to improve my lap time every exit. Also with the used tyre, that here is very important considering the long race and the tyre slides a lot, ” Rossi said.
“We continued in a good direction in the afternoon, I was more competitive than the morning and I was able to improve my lap time. We decided to work also with the hard tyre and I was strong, I felt good with the bike and I make some good lap times. So [the hard rear] can be an option for the race, especially because starting from last I have to go fast for 30 laps to try to recover.
“At the end we did a comparison with the soft [medium rear tyre] which is for sure a bit faster and easier, especially in the first laps. The difference is not so big, but you can go a bit faster, so we need to decide which way forward.
“But in general I'm happy because I ride well, I feel good with the bike and for the first day it is a good performance already, with some good lap times. We'll try to continue like this tomorrow.”
Rossi confirmed he would take part in Saturday's qualifying, despite being destined for a start at the back of the grid regardless of his performance.
“We will speak with the team but at this moment I think a normal qualifying because very difficult to use the Qualifying 2 to make a lot of laps, like a race simulation, because there will be a lot of traffic.”
Rossi knows he will need to have some serious pace if he is to make his way through the field on Sunday.
“Everything depends on my pace,” he added. “If I'm ok and we work well on the setting, can be less difficult.
“But Valencia is a difficult place to recover [positions] because it is quite narrow and also in the straight we are not very fast. We have not very high speed. So we need to understand some other points for overtaking and we need a good setting for braking into the corners.”