Repeated issues plague Valentino Rossi once again on day-one of the Catalunya MotoGP, as the nine-time world champion finished 19th fastest.
Rossi’s tenth place finish last time out at Mugello is his best result of the 2021 season so far, however, Catalunya looks set to be another difficult weekend after struggling in various areas.
Rossi is particularly struggling with ‘front end’ feel on corner ‘entry’, which has been an issue throughout the year, while his woes with the soft tyre in time attack situations continued today.
Speaking about his day, Rossi added: “This morning I was not fantastic but I was not so bad, I had a better feeling with the bike. My position was not fantastic because we didn’t change the tyre, but I feel better.
“This afternoon we tried a different setting to improve mainly the braking, but I didn’t feel comfortable. I was too slow, I was not able to turn the bike, so my position is very bad, I am very behind.
“Also the time attack with soft tyres is bad. Tomorrow we will come back more similar to this morning, and we will see our potential.”
On the other side of the Petronas Yamaha garage, team-mate Franco Morbidelli had a brilliant first day in Barcelona. Morbidelli was especially strong with the hard rear tyre which Rossi will try on Saturday.
The 42 year-old was asked if trying the harder tyre compound is due to often favouring that tyre in races to which he said: “Yes. Because usually I like the hard, like for example in Portugal.
“But sometimes – for example like in Jerez it’s difficult to use it, because you go more slow, because you have less grip.
“But it looks like today especially with Franco, and also some other riders are strong with the hard rear, so tomorrow I will try for sure and we hope that we can be better.”