First practice for the Argentina MotoGP saw world championship leader Valentino Rossi just 14th fastest and Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo down in 20th.

"Today's first practice was very difficult, as we expected," Rossi explained. "The track is still very dirty and it is very difficult to make the tyre work. After 3 or 4 laps the tyre moves a lot.

"Despite the results and although the situation is pretty atypical, the first impression is not so bad. Let's see what happens this afternoon, trusting that the weather stays like this. If so, the condition of the track will improve and we'll be able to understand more about our competitiveness."

Related Articles

Crew chief Silvano Galbusera stated: "We asked Vale to stay on the same set of tyres, because we want to save new tyres for this afternoon. We expect the lap times to improve by 2 or 3 seconds from morning to afternoon so this morning it was meaningless to use a second set of tyres. We need to wait this afternoon to understand the potential of our bikes, hoping that the weather does not get worse."

Rossi lapped 2.567s behind surprise session leader Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki), with Lorenzo 3.944s behind in 20th.

"As it happened last year, the track this morning was very dirty and I destroyed the tyres in a few laps," Lorenzo confirmed. "The riders who put new tyres at the end of the session improved their times a lot whilst we decided to stay on used tyres and we could not do any better. Actually it's exactly the opposite than last year, when I put new tyres at the end of the session and I ended up FP1 in first position."

"It's not a normal situation but at least we know the reason as we had the same experience last year," commented crew chief Ramon Forcada. "If that's the grip with the softer tyres then we only have to wait that the circuit gets cleaner in the next sessions, because we can't change the tyres... Hopefully the grip will improve on the second day and the feeling with the bike will get better."

The Yamahas were far from the only frontrunners left down the order in FP1, with Repsol Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez only tenth quickest.

"This first session the track was very slippery," Marquez said. "In the beginning it didn't look too bad but after just a few laps the tyres were totally destroyed, but there was no meaning to put fresh tyres on. We can't take much information from FP1 but anyway I'm sure FP2 the conditions will improve and we can progress."