Monster Energy factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi admitted he expected to be closer to the front in MotoGP qualifying, with the Italian qualifying down in tenth place in Motegi.
The Italian had ditched some new Yamaha upgrades on Friday in a bid to cure some of the rear tyre life issues he has been facing in recent races. With the heavy rain through the morning, lots of the work from Friday was placed on the back burner and settings fitted to his M1.
With the changes made in order to run in the wet, Rossi struggled with braking amongst other things, holding him back from qualifying any further forward than the fourth row.
“This weekend so far we tried something that was a little bit different to improve the braking, which is a difficult job, but we’re trying,” explained the 40-year-old.
“Today I still wasn’t fantastic on braking, but apart from that we’re all very close in general in terms of the setting. I expected more from Q2, try to start a bit better, because in FP4 I wasn’t so bad, but it is the way it is.”
Despite the disappointing qualifying position, Rossi remained optimistic about his chances of recovering and having a strong race.
“We wait to see what the conditions will be like tomorrow, because it looks like it will be completely dry,” he said.
“My pace in the dry was good yesterday. Today it was quite dry, but the conditions were difficult for everybody. We need to understand if we can improve a little bit for tomorrow, so I can have enough pace to recover positions.”