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Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed Day 1 at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in tenth place on the combined timesheets after having spent the majority of both FP1 and FP2 working with the medium rear tyre compound.
“It was a difficult day because we work a lot with the medium rear because last year it was good, but this year it doesn’t have a lot of grip, so I was not very strong,” explained the nine-time World Champion. “But in the end, I put the soft in and my pace was quite good. But I’m still not very happy, we have to work on the balance of the bike because in some places I’m not very fast. And as always we have some problems in acceleration because we have some spin. But from the other side Maverick was not so bad, so we have to work on the balance.”
With teammate Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) third on the combined timesheets, there is a definite indication that the Yamahas can have a successful weekend on the Island. And this is something Rossi is hoping for as – on paper – this is his best chance to hunt Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) down in the race to finish P2 in the Championship.
Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: MotoGP™ FP2
“Yeah on paper this is the track where we are stronger in the last three,” said ‘The Doctor’, but with Dovi sitting P4 at the end of play on Friday, Rossi knows he has a hard task on his hands if he’s to beat his compatriot.
“But this is just on paper, unfortunately for us today, Dovi was very fast, so it means that the Ducati also works well here at Phillip Island, so it will be hard. But from the other side we have to make a good job, try to work because usually, it’s a positive track so we need to try and do a good race.”
Round 17: Day 1 in slow motion
Find out if the Yamaha rider can climb up the timesheets in FP3 ahead of qualifying when he and the rest of the premier class field head back out on circuit at 11:55 local time (GMT +11).