Monster Energy Factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi admitted to being concerned after the opening day of free practice as MotoGP returned to Europe in Jerez.
The Italian and his M1 have struggled in the past couple of years in Spain and the nine-times World Champion didn’t fare much better today, ending the day down in fourteenth, 0.772 seconds behind Danilo Petrucci.
“It was a difficult day,” said the veteran Italian.
“We know that here in Jerez we have to suffer a bit. In the last years we’re not very fast, but we hoped that we can be better than last year. We have changed the bike, which has helped us in the first three races.”
There was an ominous admission from Rossi who believes the track isn’t suited to his factory Yamaha.
“I’m quite low and we’re a bit in trouble,” he said. “We are not strong, it looks like the marriage between the M1 and the tyres and the track is not fantastic.”
Rossi also gave the first glimpse of the Yamaha attempt of Ducati ‘scoop’. Not in love with the benefits of it, Rossi said it still did help.
“We tried the spoiler, for us to have a bit less temperature in the tyre. It’s a small help but I tried with and without and it is not a big difference,” said Rossi.