Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi struggled in both Saturday morning practice and afternoon qualifying in advance of tomorrow’s first ever Aragon Grand Prix.Rossi was 11th fastest in the morning and seventh in qualifying, suffering, like all Yamaha riders, with a lack of top speed. The riders who clocked the three slowest trap speeds were all Yamaha-mounted. Rossi was third from the bottom.By qualifying seventh, he remained off the front row since taking the pole for the French GP in Le Mans back in May. Following that race, he broke his leg in practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.Though he was seventh fastest, Rossi said he might have been on the second row, but for a small mistake, though the front row was out of reach.”This morning was a bit of a disaster,” he said. “This afternoon things were a bit better, but we are still not that fast. Unfortunately, with the softer Bridgestone tire at the end for my fast lap I made a small mistake and lost half a second, otherwise I think I could have been fourth.”Now we have to start from the third row and the start of the race will be very important because I have to try to improve my position and stay with the leaders. We have some ideas and we will use the warm-up to try to find a way to improve our pace. It will be a hard and long race but we will do our best.”
Rossi on Row Three
Paul Carruthers | Editor
Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.