Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi is seeking a big improvement on Saturday after languishing in 12th place after FP2 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Rossi was eight tenths down on Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and the Italian admitted he expected more in Spielberg, where he struggled with the balance of his YZR-M1.

“Yes, was a difficult Friday. I expected to be more competitive, but especially this morning, I didn't feel well with the balance of the bike. We tried some different settings, but I was quite slow,” said Rossi.

“Also because after the Brno test I had two or three days where I didn't feel good, I had the flu. So I have a headache and I'm not at 100 per-cent. So the situation was also more difficult.

“But in the afternoon, also my condition improved, and also the feeling with the bike was better. But we are still quite far from the top, because I don't have the right balance, and I'm not fast in some parts of the track where I was a lot stronger last year.”

Rossi was also experiencing issues with rear wheel-spin, which was having an impact on his overall speed on the straight.

“And also in acceleration, I have too much spin, so for this reason, I'm slow in the straight and I lose time. So for tomorrow we need to work with the bike, with the team, we need to try to improve the balance.

“And as usual, already tomorrow morning the FP3 will be very, very important; the first target is to try to arrive in the top ten. Today I'm out of Q1, just for a small amount, also because I didn't ride well with the soft tire, I made some mistakes, I didn't give the maximum.

“So I hope tomorrow to improve, to improve the feeling with the bike and also with my body. And try to stay in the top ten.”

The 38-year-old tried the carbon forks on Friday but says other circuits will provide a better indication of whether or not they offer any benefits over the standard forks.

“What I feel, also in the test, is a bit more agility with the carbon forks, but this is not the track for them, sincerely. It doesn't have a lot of corners, it doesn't have a lot of change of direction, and I feel very, very similar.”


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