Valentino Rossi ended the opening day at Brno down the time sheets in 14th place, but the Movistar Yamaha rider is satisfied with his potential on the M1 this weekend.

Rossi, who is fourth in the MotoGP World Championship – 10 points behind Marc Marquez – lapped in 1m 57.396s as he finished over a second behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, but the Italian did not fit the softer compound rear in the dry FP2 session in the afternoon.

The nine-time world champion was fifth quickest in the wet in FP1, but Rossi is hoping for dry conditions in FP3 on Saturday to avoid having to participate in Q1.

“At the end my position is very bad because I’m just 14th, like other times this season. But it is not too bad, especially this morning – I’m quite happy about FP1 because it was quite strong, quite competitive on the wet and under the rain this season I always suffer too much,” Rossi said.

“This morning I had a good feeling with the bike and my pace was not so bad – I finished in the top five and that is important. In the afternoon, my feeling with the bike and my pace was not so far – especially with the medium tyres.

“After, I had a problem with one bike, so I have to change bike, but I don’t change tyres because I prefer to continue with the medium used because I have to do some comparisons between two settings.

“The others improved with the soft, so my position is bad, but the pace with the medium is quite good. Now we have to wait until tomorrow morning and we hope it will be dry – if not, I have to do the Q1 – so we hope for a dry FP3 to improve.”

Rossi admits there is work to be done before Sunday’s race but the 38-year-old is feeling upbeat after day one in the Czech Republic.

“I think we have to work on the bike, the balance and everything, but I think my pace is not so bad and I feel quite good with the bike.

“It’s very early and for sure we have to work because tomorrow everybody will be a lot faster and stronger. We hope for dry conditions and we will see.”

 

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