Valentino Rossi hopes the new track surface at Catalunya will show the Movistar Yamaha in its best light this weekend after a difficult race in 2017.

Rossi won in Barcelona in 2016 but struggled last season in a race he describes as ‘one of the most difficult of the season’ after finishing in eighth place.

New asphalt has been laid at Catalunya this year while the layout has also changed, reverting back to the fast penultimate corner rather than the F1 chicane.

Rossi said: “This is a track that I love, that I like a lot, but in the last year we had a very different result. In 2016, we had a victory but last year was one of the most difficult races of the season.

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CrashTV: 

“I struggled very much and we didn’t expect, especially from 2016. After this race we started to have a lot of problems in the second half and we were not strong like we expect.

“So it is important and the track has changed a lot with the new layout, but especially the new asphalt, so a lot less bumps like we saw in the test and more grip – all the things that can help us for our performance.

“It will be very important to understand our level.”

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