Valentino Rossi said excessively hard tires could have been a factor in the violent crashes suffered by his MotoGP title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner at the end of Laguna Seca qualifying.
Second-place qualifier Rossi was the only one of the front row trio fit enough to take part in the post-session press conference as both Lorenzo and Stoner received medical attention following their vicious crashes.
"I was told about the crashes," Rossi told Italia1
. "In my opinion the problem is that we don't have dual-compound tires anymore. All the tires are made of just one compound, and on tracks like this the right side is too hard, so if you aren't careful in taking it up to its proper temperature, the tire makes you slide and there's no chance to save it."
He said he hopes his two title rivals do not have to sit out Laguna or any other race.
"I hope that Casey and Jorge are fit and able to race tomorrow," Rossi said. "It will be a great battle, because in race conditions the times are very close."
Rossi had been unable to beat Lorenzo to pole despite the Spaniard having two accidents, and said he was just relieved to be as high as second having struggled to get up to speed.
"We lose a bit too much in T4, I struggle a bit, especially in the last two turns I'm not quick, I can't ride the way I want," the Yamaha rider explained. "Now we'll try to improve and understand what's happening, and we'll see whether we can do better tomorrow.
"Anyway, I'm happy for having managed to snatch second away from Stoner right at the last lap, because that's important, and I'm not that far off Lorenzo, because over the rest of the lap I'm quick and competitive, but now we need to sort ourselves out in the last two turns."