Friday at the Dutch GP got off to a good start for Valentino Rossi. Although he lies seventeenth in the combined standings, the Petronas rider has good sensations in both wet and dry conditions, having quickly found good feeling with the Assen track.

"All in all, I think we can be satisfied with this first day at Assen”, comments the nine-time world champion. "It’s never easy to feel immediately at ease at a track, especially one we’ve not raced at for two years, but the new asphalt offers excellent grip and lets me feel confident aboard the bike, not something we’ve often had so far this season".

"Don’t misinterpret my optimism"

"Don’t misinterpret my optimism though”, continues #46. “I feel good on the bike but we’re still far from where I’d like to be and these are not the positions I’m aiming for of course. But this time we’re moving in the right direction and will try to continue in this way, though it will be very difficult to bother the frontrunners".

The Doctor closes by touching on another sport close to his heart, the football: "I’m already organised for the Italy game. Tomorrow I’ll be watching in my motorhome with my brother, Uccio and all the Academy guys, especially Migno who’s a big fan. We hope to do well on track while they do well on the pitch".

Translated by Heather Watson

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