World Champion Valentino Rossi found the first qualifying session… interesting.
Reacting to qualifying second at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar on Saturday MotoGP title holder Valentino Rossi was in a positive frame of mind ahead of the first race of the year, though he admits he and his team have plenty of work to do on Sunday.
The Italian will be trying to prevent poleman Casey Stoner from registering a hat-trick of Qatar wins as the 2009 season gets underway and says there are some points on the track where he couldn’t match the Australian on Saturday.
Rossi has had a good race pace all weekend and is confident of being able to mount a strong challenge if he can refine the setting of his Yamaha M1 in Sunday’s warm-up session which takes place at 7pm local time.
Analysing the results of first qualifying session in the single tyre supplier era Rossi stated, "It was very interesting especially with the 45 minutes of practice, you have to run, run, run because the time is short! It is not exactly like before with qualifying tyres but it is very close, the lap times are fast and it is difficult to use the soft tyres to the maximum. Anyway I am happy with the performance because a month ago here in the test we were quite slow."
He added, "However, there are still two or three parts of the track where we are not strong enough to beat (Casey) Stoner, so we will have to try tonight or tomorrow to improve the setting and we will see. It is important to start in second place for the race and it will be a long battle."