Thu 27 Apr 2023

Poor pre-event test cost us in Croatia - Rovanperä

Kalle Rovanperä believes he was partly hindered by poor preparations in the pre-event test for last week’s Croatia Rally.

The defending world champion is still searching for his first 2023 win and has not finished inside the top three since the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo, where he placed second overall.

A day one wheel change cost Rovanperä dearly in Croatia, although the Finn did fight back to claim fourth overall after notching up six stage wins. Speaking after the fourth round, he explained that a poor car set-up early in the rally had also hindered progress.

“I think we just didn’t nail everything in the [pre-event] test,” he told “Definitely we should have been better and clearer with the set-up, but we couldn’t find it in the test and it took us losing some time on Friday to find it.

“It was definitely not a good weekend overall, but at the end we did what we could. We came out on top of the fight with [team-mate] Séb [Ogier] also, so that wasn’t so bad.”

The 22-year-old now looks ahead to Vodafone Rally de Portugal (11 - 14 May), an event he won last year.

“Of course, we will try to improve and get on the podium again,” he added. “It hasn’t been a good start to the season, to be honest.

“Even though we are tight in the points, in that way we have collected all the points we can, but of course we are not really here to fight for fourth-place finishes.”

WATCH: Top 5 Moments | WRC Croatia Rally 2023
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM