Valentino Rossi admitted he was unhappy with seventh place on the opening day of the Catalunya MotoGP as the Movistar Yamaha rider concluded free practice in seventh place.

Rossi's fastest lap of 1m 42.432s left him 0.751s off Aleix Espargaro and the Italian star found the going tough especially in the afternoon, with corner entry problems on the YZR-M1 stifling his overall pace.

"It was a very difficult track today for everyone because the conditions, especially this afternoon, were very hard. It was very demanding physically and also for the bike and for the tyres and after some laps we slide very much," Rossi said.

"Also the condition of the track in the last part is now very good with some bumps and not a lot of grip. I'm not very happy about my pace and my position because, but I had a lot of problems with the entry of the corner this afternoon, so for this reason I can ride to a level but it is not enough.

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"We will have to go faster and tomorrow we will modify the setting and try to go another way. It will be more clear in the qualifying when everybody uses the softer tyre, but it will also be more clear on Sunday because whoever has the best rhythm will be very important on this track," he added.

"We will check the data and decide on the tyres as all options are possible. We also have to decide on the strategy for qualifying."

In response to a question on his own braking technique, Rossi acknowledged that Marc Marquez was particularly strong in this department on the Repsol Honda RC213V.

"The braking has changed a lot in the last years; in the past the biggest problem was lifting the rear, now with more changes to weight distribution and setting, the rear tyre is more on the ground," he said.

"The engine brake also helps a lot and is a lot better than five years ago. Every rider has a different technique, for example between me and Jorge I am more aggressive at the beginning, while he is more smooth. But we have to try to brake at the maximum and it's very important to use the power of the brake," he added.

"I don't use the rear [brake] a lot, just in the corner entry to help turn the bike."