Valentino Rossi and Yamaha will continue to try and bridge the gap to the pace-setting Repsol Hondas during this weekend's opening European round at Jerez.

Rossi arrives for the Spanish Grand Prix third in the championship, but already 34 points from reigning title holder Marc Marquez - unbeaten so far this year - and 14 behind his team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

According to Rossi's Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, the M1s continue to lack a little engine performance and lose out in hard braking/corner entry relative to the Honda.

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"We have to work a lot, the bike is good but we have some weak points which we have to improve to go faster so we can fight with the Hondas," said Rossi.

Rossi finished fourth on his Yamaha return at Jerez last season, having taken six previous wins in the premier-class.

"Jerez is one of the most special and important grand prix weekends of the season, the track is fantastic and there will be a lot of fans so the target is to improve and make the podium," stated the Italian.

Rossi fought back from an early incident with Stefan Bradl to finish just 1.6s behind his team-mate and a rostrum place last Sunday in Argentina.