Valentino Rossi had reason to be pleased following the first day of MotoGP free practice around his home circuit of Mugello after turning in the second fastest time, even if he was disappointed to see rain stop play in the afternoon.

Set to start his 300th GP around his beloved local circuit this weekend, Rossi was quickly up to speed in first free practice, dicing for the top spot with countryman Andrea Dovizioso before Marc Marquez swept to the top in the final few minutes.

Indeed, despite the arrival of rain preventing him from heading out on track in FP2, Rossi is nonetheless pleased to have started his weekend so positively on the Movistar Yamaha

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"This morning the start was good for me," he said. "We found already quite a good setting and I felt comfortable on the bike; it was already quite fast. The weather is a shame firstly for the people around the circuit and also as we had something important to try this afternoon so it was important to try to make the test.

"Unfortunately ten minutes before the practice it started to rain but not enough for the rain tyre so we wasted our time."

Rossi also played down the gap to Marquez ahead, suggesting he got some of his pace from slipstreaming Andrea Iannone.

"I am behind Marc, but I am not very far. The real distance between myself and Marc is the last lap when I managed a 1min 48.500 and he did a 1min 48.400 because when he did a 1min 48.000 he had the slipstream of Iannone that helped him. But he is in front and has a good pace, but we are close."


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At least Rossi did do the laptime by himself and did not need a tow around like MM to get his laptime.