We hoped to get the pole | Valentino Rossi Blog

Saturday, October 10, 2015

We hoped to get the pole

Qualifying saw the two Movistar Yamaha teammates produce a stunning battle for pole, Valentino Rossi just missing out.
For much of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan Valentino Rossi has struggled to match the pace of Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo who had dominated proceedings. FP4 saw the Italian make a huge step forward, ending the session second and just 0.175s behind Lorenzo which gave Rossi and his team a much needed confidence boost ahead of the Q2 shootout. In Q2, Rossi and Lorenzo were both able to drop into the 1’43 bracket with Rossi producing a 1’43.871 in the closing minutes of the session. Lorenzo’s final flying lap would see the Spaniard go just 0.081s faster, Rossi only finding out he had been beaten as he returned to parc ferme.
With Lorenzo’s strength in the opening laps, a front row start for Rossi is critical if he hopes to stay with his title rival in Sunday’s race. Aragon saw Lorenzo gain an early lead that Rossi was unable to close down after getting stuck behind other riders on the opening laps, second will help to alleviate this problem. Qualifying has often been Rossi’s weakness, not just in 2015 but also throughout his entire career and the Italian is hopefully of a strong race on Sunday. His last win in Motegi came in 2008.
Valentino Rossi: “We hoped to get the pole, but it didn‘t happen. It‘s a shame, because getting a pole position doesn‘t happen very often, especially not to me. On the other side, I‘m very satisfied about today‘s progress. Already this morning we made good improvement with the team, but the important step came this afternoon when I was consistently fast in the fourth free practice session. I was confident for qualifying and we used a good strategy and I was in the right place. Unfortunately I made a small mistake, but it was OK and I hope I can be competitive enough tomorrow to fight with Jorge.”

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