Valentino Rossi began the German MotoGP weekend in a competitive third place, but then plummeted to tenth in Friday afternoon practice.

The Italian, who signed a new two-year Movistar Yamaha contract earlier this week, was the only rider not to improve on his morning time.

"It's a shame that I couldn't improve on my time from this morning, because this morning was a good practice for me," said Rossi, behind only Aleix Espargaro and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in FP1.

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"I was in the third position and I felt very good with the bike, but this afternoon with the higher temperature we had to use the harder tyre on the front and we don't have the right setting to use it. The bike was more difficult to turn and had understeer. So I suffered a lot and I wasn't fast enough.

"I'm a little bit worried, especially because for tomorrow morning we have to improve and understand the problem. Tomorrow will be an important day, especially in the afternoon we have to try to stay in the top position. We have to work with the team and improve the setting for the harder tyres."

Rossi added: "This weekend I have the new exhaust with two pipes. I like it, it's not a big difference but from the bottom it's more smooth so we can work on the pipe and try to improve."

Rossi is currently joint-second in the world championship standings with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa also had a complicated day, in the form of a fast FP2 fall, and was only 0.030s quicker than Rossi in the afternoon.