Not for the first time, Valentino Rossi believes Sunday's warm-up session that precedes the MotoGP race will be key, as he strives to sufficiently improve his set-up to challenge at the front.

Rossi had planned further changes to set-up in Saturday's sessions to aid the issues he has had with corner entry, but found his hopes frustrated by the uncooperative Qatari weather.

The rain throughout the morning and afternoon was such that qualifying was cancelled, leaving Rossi tenth on the starting grid for Sunday's 22-lap race.

"The first problem is that I have to start from tenth," said the 38-year old. "So for us is a bit unlucky today, because I think that in full wet or full dry, I could improve.

"But the second problem is that during all the test and during all the practice, I never have a great pace. So I think tomorrow morning will be very important, if we are able to improve the setting, and if I can improve my pace, I can try to do a good race. We'll see."

On whether his 21 years of grand prix experience will work in his favour, he continued, "I don't know.

"Because maybe with this amount of water, they clean the track, and anyway, we have an hour and a half of warm up, and the two races before MotoGP. So in normal conditions, the track can be in good shape."

Although frustrated by the cancellation, Rossi believed race direction's decision to do so was the right one, and feels that the Losail International Circuit must be fitted with sufficient drainage systems before future races.

"Yes, for me personally is very bad, because I have to start behind, but for me, is the right choice, no way to make the practice today.

"Because the track is half completely dry, half completely wet, so you don't know which tire to use, and it's also very dangerous. It's the only decision they can take."

On the benefits of race direction's Loris Capirossi testing a road bike around the Qatar circuit wet conditions in February, Rossi added, "We have to go with the MotoGP bike and try to understand, because for me, the [reflection of the] light on the rain can be a problem. So we have to try. But it's 50/50. Maybe yes, maybe no.

"For me, first of all, they have to prepare the track for this condition, with drainage. And we have to try together with the MotoGP bikes."

The Italian even joked that considering the amounts of money currently invested in Qatar, the circuit could build a roof, shielding the track from possible rain, in time for future events.

"They studied this track for no rain. Because in the past, it never rained. But in the last years, it's like the overall conditions changed, so a roof is a good idea! For sure! With air conditioning!"

 

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