While Valentino Rossi remains confident with Yamaha’s qualifying pace at the Thailand MotoGP he fears familiar tyre wear problems could restrain his plans in Buriram.

The nine-time world champion saw all the Yamaha riders dominate the late qualifying-style runs in FP2 at the Chang International Circuit, albeit without Marc Marquez demonstrating his single lap pace after opting not to use fresh tyres, as Rossi ended the day fifth fastest but with all the other Yamaha riders ahead of him on the timesheet led by Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

As a result, Rossi is happy with his qualifying pace while his focus has been on solving Yamaha’s ongoing tyre wear issues which hurt its late race performance at Aragon last time out.

The 40-year-old, who announced he will change crew chief in 2020, is eager to land on a setup which is easy on rear tyre wear over a race distance with the Thailand round looking set to offer a strong result for all Yamaha riders this weekend.

“It looks like we are very competitive and especially in the time attack with the Soft tyre, all the Yamahas are good, like last year the feeling in this track is positive because the tyres work well and the bike you can ride well,” Rossi said.

“But for the pace we have some more problems so we need to work and to find the right tyre for the rear. We need to find the way to remain constant for all the race because it will be very hot and very hard for the tyres.

“It is just Friday but we need to keep attention because in the time attack with the Soft tyre we are very good, maybe we are the strongest, but it is just Friday. But for the whole race it is difficult especially with the rear tyre so we need to work because it looks like our strong opponents have it a bit easier on the rear tyre so this can make the difference at the end.”

Rossi is aiming to end an 11-race run without reaching the rostrum, stretching back to the Americas MotoGP round in April, with the Italian rider coming close on three separate occasions with hat-trick of fourth places at the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Misano.

 

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