Despite seeing a resurgence from his fellow Yamaha riders, Valentino Rossi feels he has key development and set-up work to refine at Phillip Island as he continues to battle spinning his rear tyre under acceleration.

The Movistar Yamaha rider currently holds a fine margin in the last top ten spot after ending FP2 with just a 0.046s advantage over Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Hafizh Syahrin in 11th the battle for the Q2 spots.

Rossi had pinned his hopes on the medium Michelin tyre compound in the cooler conditions at Phillip Island but accepts the performance failed to match expectations as he continues to struggle for grip and traction under acceleration.

“For me, we are very similar to Motegi,” Rossi said. “Unfortunately I lose a little bit too much time with the medium rear because we expected it to be good but unfortunately no grip.

“At the end with the Soft I was not so bad. I’m not happy and we have to work because I spin too much still. We need to improve the setting.

“I was lucky at the end, because I was able to stay in the top ten, which is good and important because the forecast for tomorrow predicts that improving in FP3 could be difficult.

“We have to continue to work on the balance of the bike, we have to improve, because our pace isn't fantastic.”

Since returning to Yamaha in 2013, Phillip Island has been one of Rossi’s best hunting grounds for the rostrum with four podium appearances from the past five years including victory in 2014.


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