Lone Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi will start tomorrows race at Assen from the front of the second row, making it his best qualifying position of 2013 following his return to Yamaha this season.
|Rossi was 0.576 off pole time in Assen
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP
With Jorge Lorenzo out with a collar bone injury it was up to Rossi to fly the flag for the factory team, and the Italian seemed to be more comfortable with the new qualifying format for 2013. Going into Q2 in fourth position following combined free practice, Rossi was on the pace from the word go at the historic Dutch circuit. Using a new strategy, the 34 year old set the fastest time of the session with 2 minutes remaining, only to be pipped by Stefan Bradl seconds later. Unable to beat Crutchlow’s astounding time Rossi was shunted down to fourth position with a time of 1.34.974.
Despite suggestions he could win in the wet tomorrow, Rossi is hoping for a dry race“I’m happy for my speed, my pace and my performance in the practices. I feel good with the setting of the bike. It’s a pity I didn’t stay on the first row as I think I had the potential to do a little better and stay in the first three. Anyway, I’m fourth, the best qualifying of the season and especially I have a good pace, even after a lot of laps so I’m happy. Now we wait for tomorrow, we have some small modifications to make to the settings and we have to hope that the weather will be good. I hope for a dry race, but if it is wet I hope it is 100% wet, half and half is the worst conditions.”