Monster Energy Factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi admitted that he is concerned after what he described a ‘complicated day’, which saw him down in eighteenth position in Mugello.
Failing to ever truly challenge at the top of the timing sheets across Friday, the Italian ended the opening day just under a second off the pace, but with work to do in order to salvage a competitive qualifying position on Saturday.
“I expected to be strong, but it’s been a complicated day,” said the nine-times World Champion.
“I’ve not felt comfortable on the bike and I can’t ride it as I want to. I was slow in both sessions, even slower than last year.
“If we add in the fact that the standings are very tight, this explains my position.”
When asked if he was feeling optimistic about his chances after the opening day, ‘the Doctor’ said: It’s difficult to say. I just know that we need to try. Last year I got on well and I was fast.
“The M1 has changed a bit, but I am mainly riding it in a different way. I’m slower through a lot more corners than I was a year ago and I need to find the confidence to push.
“Gone are the days when the M1 was the quickest bike mid-corner. We haven’t been able to make the difference there for three or four years. But the other Yamaha riders did better than me today and I need to be able to ride the bike on the limit.”