Rossi in doldrums after qualifying debacle

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 May, 2006, 12:00am

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi says the best he can do is to avoid a meltdown in today's Chinese Grand Prix after a disastrous qualifying session saw his hopes take a dramatic downturn.

Young gun Dani Pedrosa of the Repsol Honda Team celebrated his first pole position in the premier MotoGP class, and will be joined on the front row today by Suzuki rider John Hopkins and Colin Edwards, Rossi's Yamaha teammate.

'I just had a very long discussion with my team crew to get everything else on the bike - every spring, every setting - perfect to avoid an absolute disaster, that's the best we can hope for,' said Rossi, who finished 13th in the qualifying and will start on the fifth row of the grid today.

That stood in stark contrast with his high-flying confidence just a day before when the Italian claimed his Yamaha bike was back to its best.

'Our problem is, once again, chattering. I get vibration on 75 per cent of corners,' Rossi said.