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Rossi targets grip issue after difficult day one

Rossi targets grip issue after difficult day one

The Fiat Yamaha rider was ninth fastest on the opening day of practice in Valencia, and outlined the improvements needed to be competitive for his final race with the team.

Valentino Rossi’s mission to win his final race with Fiat Yamaha got off to a complicated start on day one in Valencia, as the Italian struggled to find a comfortable setting on his M1 prototype during the two Friday practice sessions.

Fifth fastest in the morning, Rossi ended the day ninth overall with a lap time of 1’33.661 which was 0.971s off team-mate and leader Jorge Lorenzo.

"This morning was not so bad but the afternoon was not great. We weren't able to improve the setting from the morning and we had a few problems; we have some work to do because at the moment we don't have enough grip and the bike is difficult to ride,” said the 31 year-old, who last won at the circuit in his first season with the team in 2004.

“The times are quite close but we are in still ninth so we need to find a way to improve tomorrow,” he continued. “We will have a look at the data and see what we can come up with tomorrow because for sure we need to improve the grip if we are going to be competitive this weekend. It's a very important weekend, the last for me with Yamaha, so of course we want to try to be at the maximum."

Team Manager Davide Brivio added: "This morning we tried some different geometries and settings and then in the afternoon we continued in just one way, but it's clear that we still have some work to do and we have some problems with grip. In the end we stopped a little bit early to consider the situation, and now we will look closely at the data to find the right way forward for tomorrow so that we can give Valentino a bike to allow him to ride how he wants here."

Rossi placed second in last year’s season-ending race at Valencia, and is hoping for a third win of the season to cap off 2010.


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