Valentino Rossi believes Brno, venue for this weekend's Czech Republic MotoGP, is shaping up for an exciting battle between 'equal' Yamaha and Honda riders.
The top six riders - three each from Yamaha and Honda - were covered by just 0.3s at the end of Friday's pair of free practice sessions.
LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl led the way, with Jorge Lorenzo
the top Yamaha in second and team-mate Rossi fourth.
“I think that this track is equal, also because Dani [Pedrosa] won last year on the Honda, beating Jorge on the last lap,” declared Rossi.
“But for sure the Yamaha is a lot more competitive and also I am more competitive, because I like the track and I rode in a better way than Indianapolis.”
Rossi gained one place in the afternoon session to finish just 0.226s from Bradl, at a circuit where The Doctor took his very first grand prix victory as a 125cc rider back in 1996.
“Today is a positive day for me, especially this afternoon, because we made some modifications and improved a lot,” said Rossi. “I was fast with the soft and hard tyre. We are all very close, five or six riders in three tenths. It is very exciting!
“We tried the hard tyre, but it is not the new hard tyre, it is the normal hard tyre. We don't have the new tyre here. But the first impression was good. I only did four laps with the hard tyre, so I have to do a longer run tomorrow.
“We hope the weather will be good because the forecast is not very positive.”
Rossi and Lorenzo will be seeking to halt a three-race win streak for rookie title leader Marc Marquez on Sunday. The Repsol Honda rider was fifth quickest in Friday practice.