Lucky to finish the race
The Jerez Gran Prix was nothing short of a disaster for Valentino Rossi. He qualified in seventh place, which is not uncommon for him. Usually Valentino won’t do to well in qualifying and practice, but he’ll perform spectacularly in the race. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Rossi this time around.
He made an ok start, but did not start attacking for the front as he usually does. Riders like Zarco, and Lorenzo made great charges to the front. Both riders were on medium compound tires, which gave them the extra grip to push towards the front in the early stages of the race.
The Factory Yamaha struggles in the hot conditions, and is unstable. Rossi and Viñales both encountered similar issues, and were not able to push that hard. Dani Pedrosa led the charge from pole all the way to the end, winning the race. He was extremely consistent with his lap times, staying in the 1’40 range for the whole race. Rossi was struggling so much that he dipped into the 1’45 range at the end.
What does this mean for Le Mans? This is an unknown. Generally Le Mans is a little cooler than other tracks, due to its rainy weather. It’s a possibility that these slightly cooler temperatures will suit the Yamaha. Regardless, the team will put in maximum effort into fixing Viñales and Rossi’s bikes.