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Rossi registered his worst qualifying result in his entire 25-year grand prix career in last weekend’s Doha round in Qatar, having limped to 21st aboard his Petronas SRT Yamaha.

He failed to salvage much in the race, the 42-year-old coming away from the second round of the season without points in 16th having also faded from fourth to 12th in the Qatar GP the week before.

Following his worst start to a premier class season since his maiden season in 2000, Rossi admitted he was unsure if his form would rebound when MotoGP returns to Europe starting with next week’s Portuguese GP.

Reviewing the Doha race in his new ’99 Seconds’ YouTube series, Lorenzo – who spent seven years as Rossi’s team-mate in MotoGP – was scathing in his assessment of Rossi’s performance, but expects him to be stronger come the fourth round at Jerez.

“Rossi has disappointed me, as I suppose he has disappointed his fans because a lot is always expected from Valentino,” Lorenzo said.

“To be 21st in practice, I think he said he had some practices that he did worse in his career, but it’s difficult to find a worse one.

“And then in the race, outside the points, I also think It’s difficult to find a race that Valentino finished, without a crash or an engine breakdown, outside of the points.

“It is the second time that he is far behind the other Yamaha.

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Let’s hope it’s a particular occasion. He never did well in Qatar and better circuits will surely come.

“I don’t know if it will be in Portimao, that will also be difficult for him. But surely, he will come back strong in Jerez.”

Lorenzo also offered his opinion on Pramac rookie Jorge Martin, who scored his maiden pole at the Doha GP before going on to finish third having led for the first 17 laps of the race.

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“On braking, he reminds me a lot of Stoner, also because of his aggressiveness and because he brakes very late and leaves the brakes very decisively like Casey did,” Lorenzo said of Martin.

“And I also think he looks a bit like me in the [riding] position in the middle of the corner.

“He hangs off a lot, practically touching with the [track with his] elbow and even with the shoulder in some corners.

“And then he also has a lot of corner speed. He has been able to do a lot of cornering speed with the Ducati compared to a [Johann] Zarco that is very direct in braking and does not prepare very well for cornering, or [Jack] Miller.”

 



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