Sachsenring : Fiat Yamaha – Day One
After enjoying a short break following his epic victory in Holland, Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi was back in strong form for the first day of the German Grand Prix today, finishing a close second in the combined standings behind
His team-mate Edwards was a little further back in eighth but both riders were happy with the way they were quickly able to adapt their 800cc YZR-M1s to the twists and turns of the difficult Sachsenring.
This morning the tables were reversed with Rossi eighth and Edwards in fourth, with temperatures a little cooler and some light rain beginning to fall towards the end of the session. Despite threatening skies overhead however, this afternoon's practice remained dry and Rossi and Edwards were able to maximise the time to make steady improvements to their settings and tyres. Both were able to lap comfortably in the 1'23s with Rossi setting a best lap of 1'23.083, over two tenths under the existing lap 900cc record.
"This morning we had some problems when the temperature was lower, especially with the front tyre which takes a lot of stress around this track. Towards the end we found a better front tyre but then it started to rain a bit so I couldn't go any faster. Anyway this afternoon was much better and I feel like we have the bike well balanced. The rear tyre feels very good and I'm happy with that, although we still have some issues to sort out with the front. There are some parts of the track where we could be a little bit faster so we need to make a few adjustments to get to the maximum, but anyway 23.0 is not so bad and we're in second place.
Tomorrow it is going to be much hotter apparently but usually our bike works well in the heat so I am quite confident about this."
"I was half a second quicker this afternoon but somehow ended up twice as far down the order! Despite that though we improved a lot this afternoon and I definitely felt like I could have gone a bit faster at the end, but I slowed up a bit as I came pretty close to Hayden after he blew up. The team have worked hard as usual and we've played around with some suspension stuff that seems to be working well. We've got various different tyre constructions to work through with Michelin and it seems like we've got some promising options in our selection. Tomorrow is just going to be a case of seeing what works best and fine tuning the setting before we put it on the front row!"
"With Valentino we were able to make some good improvements from when we started out this morning and we've found several different tyres that we think might work for the race. Also with Colin we've found a good setting for him which he feels quite comfortable with and he has a good balance on his bike. Of course we've got more work to do on tyres and settings for both riders; it's work in progress but we've made a good start. Luckily it's stayed dry almost all day so we've been able to get a lot of work done. Tomorrow it should be even warmer so some things might change; we'll see how it goes!"