Valentino Rossi felt “like I am 30” again in MotoGP practice

Rossi struggled for frontrunning pace in the two Austrian races last month, finishing fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix and only ninth in the Styrian GP as the Yamaha’s power deficit hampered the 41-year-old.

Yamaha expected to be stronger at Misano owing to the track’s nature, while the added grip of the new asphalt would play into its hands. However, it hadn’t tested on the new surface like its rival manufacturers, the logic of which was questioned by Rossi and Fabio Quartararo on Thursday.

The Japanese marque ended Friday at Misano first and second in the combined times courtesy of Quartararo and Maverick Vinales, with Rossi 0.543 seconds further back in sixth.

When asked by if he was relieved to have been so strong after a tough run of races last month, Rossi replied: “To try to explain, in Austria I felt like I am 50 years old. Here in Misano, I feel like I am 30. So, it’s completely different.

“We were fast here in Misano also last year, but we needed to go on track to understand if we are still good, because in MotoGP the technical situation changes very fast. And the other manufacturers made a lot of tests here: Ducati, Aprilia, KTM for example, so you never know.

“But it looks like the M1 is competitive here and we have a lot of work to do, but I feel more young…

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