Valentino Rossi admits teams and riders will be starting from zero on Sunday, following the news that Michelin has withdrawn both previous rear tyres on safety grounds.

The Movistar Yamaha rider, who won last year's race and has qualified second to Marc Marquez for the 2016 edition, expected the medium compound would be withdrawn following an incident for Scott Redding.

But he had no idea that the hard compound would also be ruled out.

"This new allocation changes the situation a lot, because I thought they would pull the [medium] tyre and we could race with the hard option, but unfortunately we have to race with a tyre that we never tried before," he said.

"With this decision we have to start from zero, so we have to hope that tomorrow morning in the half hour warm-up we can understand the situation and that this tyre is safer. Everybody is in the same boat, so we will see what happens tomorrow."

A 30-minute practice will be provided in addition to the 20-minute warm-up to help riders and teams adapt to the new rubber.

"We respect the decision of Michelin and IRTA that aims to maximise the safety of the riders. The well-being and security of our riders comes first for us, before anything else," declared Movistar Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli.

"Luckily we'll have an additional 30-minute session during which we will do our outmost to adapt the bike to the new tyre. We have no other options so we'll try our hardest to achieve the best possible performance with this tyre.

"We already know that compared to the ones we have been using so far, the new tyre will have a lesser performance, but this goes for all riders. We hope the weather is favourable from the morning session until the race.

Rossi's team-mate, reigning world champion and Qatar winner Jorge Lorenzo will complete Sunday's front row.



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