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Tricky track conditions made it difficult for Valentino Rossi to progress in Argentina, ending Friday practice in seventh.
A filthy Termas de Rio Hondo circuit combined with blazing temperatures made for a difficult start to the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina for Valentino Rossi. ‘The Doctor’ ended FP1 in sixth and although he was able to improve his time by over half a second in FP2, he concluded the day in seventh. Both sessions were spent searching for more grip with an eye to Sunday’s race. His attention changed slightly in FP2 as he became aware it may rain on Saturday and did not want to be left outside the top ten, choosing to use a new rear at the end of the session to set a 1’41.565.
Grip continues to be at a premium in Argentina, the Hondas working better than the Yamahas at the current stage. Rossi was 0.986s back on Friday’s leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), but did managed to end almost half a second ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. With the 2016 championship still very much in its infancy, a strong result could tighten up the standings once more.
Valentino Rossi: “Difficult day for everybody because these were challenging conditions. The track was very dirty and in the afternoon it became better but it remained very slippery and also the temperature was very high so it was difficult to maintain the pace lap by lap. It looks like we suffered a bit with the lack of grip on the track, we slide and also the front tyre was not very good. We need to work, so from this moment we need to improve the setting step by step and hope the track will become better and that the weather conditions will become more cold but not wet.”
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