Almost a month ago, at Jerez, the Doctor jumped from 12th on the grid to 4th overall in a matter of laps, before a wrong corner approach threw him out of the track, taking Honda's Casey Stoner with him. He later resumed action and was able to finish 5th overall, more than one minute behind winner Jorge Lorenzo.
Heading to Estoril this weekend, the 7-time MotoGP champion wants a dry track throughout the 3 days of action, as he would rather continue evaluating the bike and use valuable data to improve it rather than score a “lucky” podium, or even win.
“The conditions are often unpredictable at Estoril because the area is very windy and close to the ocean, making for variable weather, especially in the spring,” said Rossi in a preview for the Portuguese GP.
“Anyway, although we saw at Jerez that we're already competitive in the wet, we're hoping for sun in Portugal so that we can make the most of our time on the track. We still have to understand the bike better, and to work on the setup with the goal of being faster in the dry in time for the most intense phase of the season, when we'll have six races in eight weeks starting in June.”
This weekend's race in Portugal will be followed by the first in-season MotoGP test of 2011, scheduled to kick off on Monday, on the same track.