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Rossi: out of Q2 if it rains in FP3

Nine-time World Champion could find himself heading through Q1 in Malaysia

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is the most successful rider at Sepang with six wins, but Day 1 in 2017 was a more difficult one – although the feeling, says the ‘Doctor’, was not so bad.

#MalaysianGP: MotoGP™ Free Practice in slow motion

“It was a difficult day but this morning we were lucky, because we could do some laps in the dry,” explains the rider from Tavullia, after FP1 was dry in the latter half before the rain came down. “The conditions were not fantastic but I could push a bit, and the feelings were not so bad.”

The Italian also explains that although he might not quite be in that magic top ten as it stands, he didn’t put in a soft rear tyre for a time attack: “In the last ten minutes, a lot of riders put in the soft rear tyre to stay in the top ten. So I am just twelfth, but my pace was quite good.”

MotoGP™ riders talk #MalaysianGP Practice

The afternoon session then didn’t allow laptimes to improve as it was fully wet, but the number 46 says they did manage to improve on some tough times in the wet of late.

“In the afternoon, we could work well in the wet because it was fully wet,” affirms the Yamaha rider. “We improved compared to Motegi and we ended up sixth, but I don’t feel comfortable with the bike because we don’t have enough rear grip. We need to improve to be competitive in these conditions.”

Last year in the wet, Rossi was a key protagonist on race day at Sepang. Now he’ll be hoping for dry skies in the morning to get straight through to Q2, and looking for answers to their wet weather conundrum should it rain once more – something likely in Malaysia.

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