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Rossi searching for better balance on Saturday

It was a more difficult FP2 for the nine-time World Champion

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lamented the increase in track temperatures on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, with the ‘Doctor’ ending Friday P9 on the timesheets – 0.634 off pace setter Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).

The Movistar Yamaha team struggled more with lower grip at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto last year, and it seems Rossi’s difficulties in hotter temperatures could still be haunting him in 2018 – despite him going quicker in FP2.

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“It was a difficult day, especially in the afternoon because in the morning I was not so bad with the cold, but unfortunately with the higher temperature we suffer more,” explained the 39-year-old. “I’m not happy with the balance of the bike, we need to improve, but also, we are in trouble with the tyres. After some laps we lose grip and it looks like we slow down more than our opponents, so I think it will be difficult, but it’s still Friday, we need to work and improve and try to understand better tomorrow.”

Work to do then for Rossi and his Yamaha team, who were also the only manufacturer not to test at Jerez before the start of the 2018 campaign. However, the number 46 doesn't think that's the key issue.

“For sure not making the test is a disadvantage, but I don’t think it’s the bigger problem. Its more because on this track you spin a lot, also with the new asphalt, the new asphalt is better, but anyway the character of the track remains. In these conditions it looks like we suffer a bit more than our opponents.”

Will Rossi and Yamaha find a solution before qualifying begins? Find out when the battle for pole position gets under way at 14:10 local time (GMT +2).