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MotoGP Aragon: No way to fight with Honda duo, says Rossi

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi says Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa will be in a race of their own at the Aragon MotoGP
Valentino Rossi has ruled out his prospects of challenging for a second MotoGP win on the trot at Aragon, after a tough qualifying session.

The Movistar Yamaha rider was forced to participate in Q1 after missing the cut for direct access to Q2 as he ended free practice in 11th place and has struggled to find an effective tyre combination at the Spanish circuit.

However, Rossi - a winner last time out at Misano - managed to regroup in the final session to secure a second row start in sixth place on the YZR-M1, but afterwards admitted the best he can hope for is to be in a battle for the final place on the rostrum on Sunday.

“We had something different to try from yesterday and we worked a lot,” said Rossi, who is over a second down on the pole time set by Marquez, lapping in 1m 48.226s.

“In the morning it was a difficult practice but especially when we put the new tyre in at the end because the tyre was wrong and it doesn't work. I went very close to a crash and I couldn't improve my lap time. It is the third time this year [with a tyre issue] and I had one less tyre for qualifying because we cannot replace it."

Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also claimed he suffered from 'defective' tyres on Saturday.

“So I had to do Q1 and I hadn't any good tyres left from FP4," added Rossi, who started with the hard rear tyre in Q1 but was forced to switch to the medium compound to improve his time to guarantee a slot in Q2. "We worked on the bike and changed the setting and we struggled but we found something good and in the end we had a good strategy.

“I'm happy with the second row considering we had just the one tyre for Q2. We made some small improvements that will be very important to make a step in the warm up tomorrow and for the race.”

Turning his attention to the race, Rossi suggested Repsol Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa will be in a race of their own.

“In the race [there is] no way to fight with the factory Honda because Marc and Pedrosa are too strong with the pace,” he said.

“But there is another place on the podium and a lot of riders that can achieve that result: me, Jorge, Pol Espargaro and also the Ducatis, especially [Andrea] Dovizioso and [Andrea] Iannone. It will be important to make some other improvements to fight for the race tomorrow.

“The big question mark is the tyre; we can use medium or hard. They are very similar so we have to see what the track temperature will be.

“Misano was a great track for Yamaha but here we are struggling. But it's still Saturday and we will try tomorrow.”

Barring a late set-up breakthrough, Rossi's other hope is the chance of wet weather on Sunday. Rossi is currently just one point behind Pedrosa in the fight for second place in the 2014 standings.

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September 27, 2014 4:57 PM

With how badly Yamaha has been doing this weekend, even the Ducatis might be better contenders for the final podium slot. Vale and Jorge always pull something out of the bag on the race day though, so hopefully they can at least fight for the podium.

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