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Early problems for Rossi

Early problems for Rossi

Early problems for Rossi

Valentino Rossi admitted that he had struggled to get to grips with the track layout on the first day of action at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Thursday. Unable to match the electric pace of provisional pole man Ruben Xaus, Rossi ran off track several times and could only set the sixth fastest time, explaining that he had problems in several corners.

"That was a really strange day," said Rossi. "I really like this track in terms of the layout and design. It is wide and technical with no bumps. There are some difficult parts and some fast corners where you really need to know how to ride.

"The problem is there is no grip because of the dust. This morning it was like riding in the wet but it was obviously a lot better this afternoon. The interesting thing will be to see how it is tomorrow morning. If sand blows on it again tonight then we'll start again and it will be hard to go faster.

"We have a few problems here. Mostly with the front setting and grip and I couldn't go as fast as I wanted. I went off the track as I was trying to find the braking points and they were difficult to find. In the end I didn't use qualifying tyres and so I think my time was OK.

"Xaus and Edwards were very fast but anyway, I am sixth which is not so bad and I think my championship rivals are in a similar position to me."

MotoGP, 2004, MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Valentino Rossi

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