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GP Week : Issue 181
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS Valentino Rossi has blamed a disappointing sixth place in Texas – behind satellite riders Crutchlow and Bradl – on a front brake problem that struck on the warm-up lap, leaving him with difficulty stopping and bad vibration. But he admitted that he needs to improve his settings to minimise damage at tracks that don’t suit him, and said frankly: “Crutchlow rode better than me. And Jorge is the best rider at the moment. “We knew here we would have a difficult weekend, but we have to find a way to lose less points. We are still not at 100 percent.” Using different settings from the other Yamaha riders in the bike’s geometry, “the position of the wheels and the weight”, he found the balance that had worked well at Jerez tests and Qatar did not suit this track. “We didn’t work well in practice. We still have to understand the balance of the bike. “I tried to attack Bradl in the race but I had trouble with the front closing [tucking under],” he explained. There will be some more difficult tracks. We have to find a way to be closer.” Grandstand spectators at Austin got an extra start for their money, with the first use of a new system that will be applied at all new race-tracks – allowing riders a practice start from their correct grid positions at the end of race-morning warm-up. The main reason is for safety ... particularly relevant at Austin, where the first corner is a tight hairpin approached up a very steep hill at some speed. The corner entry is also very wide, offering a number of different lines. The practice start gave the riders a chance to find their braking points for the dash into the first corner. “It is a good thing, because a first corner like this one can be dangerous,” said Lorenzo. “We all need to be calm on the first lap,” he added, as a caution. Rossi said he hoped the system would be introduced for every race, for safety reasons. Riders take off one by one, and there was a certain amount of “after you, Claude” at this first attempt, as riders at the back of the grid waited their seniors ahead of them to clear their path. In the event, everyone made it through the first corner safely. ROSSI: ‘WE’RE STILL NOT AT 100 PERCENT’ SPECIAL START PRACTICE TO FEATURE AT NEW TRACKS 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: