Valentino Rossi’s home MotoGP at Mugello has gotten off to a less than ideal start, as the nine-time world champion finished with only Iker Lecuona behind him in FP2. 

The overall classification makes for alarming reading as Rossi was more than 1.5 seconds from top spot and 0.5 of a second from the next Yamaha of Maverick Vinales

"Difficult day for me. Especially in the afternoon because we started with the hard tyres and it was not the right choice,” said Rossi. 

"I have not enough grip. But at the end anyway, I did two or three laps with the soft rear, I improve my lap time, but anyway my position remained bad. 

"I don’t have a very good feeling with the bike because I am in trouble in braking, to stop the bike, and I’m slow in the change of direction. Here is very important, we need to work and we have to try to improve the speed of today."

That wasn’t all in terms of the issues Rossi has been suffering with so far at Mugello, as the initial part of braking is also a problem area.

Rossi said: "Especially here the braking for the turn one is very critical. But for me it is difficult to stop the bike, especially in the first part of the braking. I suffer so we need to work on the balance of the bike and also the engine brake."

Rossi is using the same bike setup as the one he had at Le Mans but with ‘small modification’ this weekend. 

Yamaha debuted their new front start device during free practice today with Rossi saying it ‘is a good step’, but needs more work because ‘we still have some problems’. 

"Yes I try the start device, the front start device and it’s better. It is a good step,” added Rossi. 

"We need to work - it’s a bit critical and we still have some problems, but we hope we can use it as soon as possible."