Having struggled throughout the wet Japanese MotoGP weekend, culminating in a big highside during the race, Valentino Rossi arrives in Australia hoping more than ever for a dry event.

But if Thursday is anything to go by it will be a typical Phillip Island weekend - sunshine between heavy rain showers, with a big drop in the temperature bringing a chilly end to the day.

"This is another track, another type of grip, another temperature but especially we need to understand the [weather] conditions. Here it always changes a lot. I hope for the dry and we see" confirmed Rossi.

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"Let's see. Last year was a good race. I was strong on the Sunday with good conditions. In February at the test it was very difficult for me. I was very slow [12th overall]. So tomorrow we will try to understand our level."

Given the likelihood of wet weather, Rossi was pressed on the 2017 M1's ongoing troubles.

"For us it's difficult to understand very well, because with the Bridgestone tyres we were very strong, but also last year with the Michelin the bike was good [in wet]," Rossi explained. "I was always quite fast in the rain. So we need to understand why.

"In Motegi we basically struggled always, from Friday to Sunday. For sure the Japanese engineers and also all the team have some different ideas, some different stuff [to try here] to understand. Different weight distribution etc. But I hope it will be dry!"

The nine-time world champion confirmed he is currently working only on set-up.

"New parts, no. Set-up, yes," Rossi stated. "It would be interesting to understand also with more temperature, but it looks like the forecast here is to be cold.

"So, we are in a difficult situation now, especially in the wet. In the dry we have some problem but we can be a bit more competitive. So this is another weekend and we will try the maximum."

Will you try the 2016 chassis again?

"No."

Turning to his healing leg fractures, which were given a stress test with his two falls at Motegi, Rossi added:

"I was lucky that I didn't make the leg worse because in the race it was a big crash. I have some pain in my shoulder. I hope that on the bike I won't feel it a lot. For the rest I'm okay.

"For me this track is a bit easier physically. Especially compared to Motegi.

"But at the same time you have to stay very quiet [calm] because this track, especially in mixed conditions, is dangerous because it's very fast. So you need to keep attention.

"But physically it's a little bit easier because it's more flowing."

Rossi, who missed Misano due to his leg fracture and has fallen twice in 2017 races, has now dropped out of mathematical contention for the 2017 title

Team-mate Maverick Vinales is still clinging on to a slim title chance, sitting 41 points from Honda's Marc Marquez (and 30 from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso) with three rounds and a maximum of 75 points remaining.

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Without repeating what's been said. I can't see why he's not just testing for next year.

Good thinking

It looks to me to be a repeat of the 2014 weather, cold and a little more damp.  Sunday's forecast shows rain showers in the morning and cooler.  This may play into the Yahama's hands better and hamper the Ducati and Honda camps.

Rossi's always done as good as his bike was capable of here.  Unfortunately, he's injured, but I feel his mindset will be the same as without that.  His teammate should do as he normally seems to do, stuggle early on, then find something to come forward at the end.

It's going to be a good one to watch!

How would Marquez like it if Rossi deliberately holds him up and ruins his race!! Like in Philip Island 15, two year anniversary coming up.

I think MM will like that, he loves to battle. If VR fast enough... :P

2015, the only time in history when a slow rider want to win championship, and try to make MM help him by stealing JL point by accusing MM in Sepang 2015 conference press. And knock MM down when MM didn't want to cooperate. Tell your god, collect your own point.

Funny because in Philip Island Rossi was the fastest guy on track until the last lap when Marquez decided to actually go for the win. Watch that race again Marquez kept cutting Rossi line trying to get revenge for what happened in Argentina. Don't worry Marquez will get what's coming to him eventually.

Have you heard tyre management? Do you think rider can go as fast as posible from the start till the end of race?

Ducati has a bike Dovi can ride just like old Stone used to handle the Mustang back in the days. Honda has a bike tailormade for MM to generate tire heat so he can do well. Yamaha seems to have dropped the ball Rossi doesn't like the bike nor does Vinales while both can't ride it the worse of both worlds.

Rossi has nothing to lose.Hold Marquez or better take him out so that Dovi wins.What Marquez did should come back to him.

Ah yes, the 2015 conspiracy. Where MM took 5 points off JL. And Iannone was in on it too, beating VR.

My god, they've even got Italians working with them? Is there any level to which these Spaniards won't stoop? 

Ha ha ha ha!