Factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi admitted that he had expected to be stronger but acceleration issues were holding him back on the opening day of free practice in Le Mans.
The Italian struggled to find a set up and could only manage the fourteenth fastest time of the day, nearly nine-tenths behind his team-mate Maverick Vinales.
With rain forecast overnight, Rossi’s chances of progressing directly into Q2 appear bleak, leaving his weekend hinging on Q1. Despite the importance of getting into Q2, Rossi believes that he needs to work on finding a set up before we can think about challenging come Sunday.
“I expected to be stronger but in the end is a difficult day because already from this morning I had not a fantastic feeling,” said the 40-year-old. “I suffered a little bit, especially in acceleration.
“After this morning we had one problem with the chain, I lost a bit of time, but in the afternoon we tried something else. At the beginning was not too bad, but we tried something different for try to improve.
“My pace at the beginning was not so bad but anyway I miss something. We don’t find good solutions so we have to go back to work to the end of the practice.
“At the end I was able to do just one lap soft and I am out of top ten so we need to hope that tomorrow morning can be dry for improve the lap time, but also work on the bike for improve the pace.”