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More difficult debut for Yamaha at Motegi

Rear grip issues affect both Viñales and Rossi on Day 1

Championship challenger Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and teammate Valentino Rossi both had a more difficult start to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, with rear grip issues hitting the Iwata marque in the wet – a problem that has reared its head previously this season, too.

“It seems impossible,” says Viñales. “The bike has a limit. It will be difficult because we’ve been trying all year and it’s a problem we’ve had all year. We just didn’t have good grip at the rear.”

Viñales & Rossi explain their problems in the wet on Friday

Rossi agreed that the wet has been a challenge in 2017, and likewise isn’t yet sure how to solve it – saying they’d tried a lot of things on Friday that, normally, they wouldn’t have done during a race weekend.

“In the wet it’s difficult for us this season,” explains the nine-time World Champion. “We suffer with rear grip and it’s difficult to solve the issues. For it being a race weekend, we’ve tried a lot of things. I don’t know how we can solve it.”

There is more time to try and work on the issue before the points are given out on Sunday, and in a part blessing and part curse, the weather looks set the remain wet: more time to try and figure out a solution, but with a lot at stake.

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