Despite taking second place in qualifying Valentino Rossi feels his race pace at Brno will struggle to match fellow front-row starters Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez as he considers a tyre gamble for the race.

The Movistar Yamaha rider provisionally held pole position as the chequered flag fell on qualifying but was dropped down to second with Dovizioso bolting clear with a 1m 54.689s.

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While he was thrilled with his single lap pace he fears his race pace during practice on the YZR-M1 will be unable to match the speed of his fellow front row rivals.

Rossi hopes to take full advantage of his front row start to keep in touch with the leading group but has low expectations ahead of the Czech Republic race.

“During the practice I struggled, I always struggled, because my pace unfortunately is not very strong,” Rossi said. “So we tried to understand different things with the bike but especially the different combinations on the tyres especially with the front and rear. We made a lot of tests but in general with the tyres we are not very fast.

“I will try to stay focused and concentrated to try to have a good moment with the good starting position.

“Considering that in the race pace we are not fantastic so it is also more important to start from the front row because I am in the middle from Dovizioso and Marquez who are the two guys with the better pace. It will be very important to stay with them at the beginning and see what happens during the race.”

Rossi concedes not testing out the hard option tyres during Friday practice could prove to be a painful decision and accepts he may have to gamble with his tyre strategy to make up for his race pace deficit.

“For me it was a mistake not to try the hard yesterday because maybe with more laps we can understand it better,” he said. “Today I tried it this morning and this afternoon but the problem is that I am not very fast.

“Usually I am not very happy with the gamble. If you go with the soft usually you are not very fast in the beginning but for me it will be difficult to arrive at the end.

“We have to see, especially about the temperature, because if we have less temperature maybe. It is easier. We will check and I will decide tomorrow.”

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