Valentino Rossi 'not fast enough' at MotoGP Valencia finale

Valentino Rossi says he was simply "not fast enough" at Valencia on Friday, after struggling with balance and finishing nearly one second slower than Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Jorge Lorenzo

Valentino Rossi 'not fast enough' at MotoGP Valencia finale

Rossi was second to Lorenzo in the opening session of the season finale, 0.387 seconds adrift, but then eighth and 0.794s behind in the afternoon.

The Italian, who has already secured second in the championship ahead of Lorenzo, struggled with handling at both ends of his M1 during second practice, even with the softer rear tyre.

"FP1 was quite positive, especially at the end," he said.

"I felt very comfortable with the tyres and the bike and in the end I finished in second place.

"We continued in the afternoon but for some reason it was a lot more difficult.

"Especially the [hard] rear didn't provide enough grip, enough feel - after a few laps I struggled.

"A lot of other riders had a lack of grip so at the end we put on the soft [rear], and I didn't feel comfortable with the front.

"I improved my lap time and my pace but it's not fast enough because I'm not happy with the balance of the bike.

"I'm not strong enough so we've got to work and tried to improve the balance."

In his last grand prix before joining Ducati, Lorenzo topped both sessions, finishing the afternoon 0.247s faster than Marc Marquez and 0.312s clear of Maverick Vinales.

"For the moment we have started the last weekend with Yamaha in the best way possible: first and first," Lorenzo said.

"Marquez is very strong too and Vinales is very fast as well, it will be very close on Sunday if it's a dry race, but we are not sure because the weather is uncertain."

MARQUEZ TIPS CLOSE FIGHT

Champion Marquez was Lorenzo's closest challenger for the bulk of Friday, spending stints at the top of the order in each session.

While he echoes Lorenzo's view that it is a tight top three, he also feels Rossi is in the mix.

"We ended the day happy with the work we had done," he said.

"Tomorrow we'll try to continue in the same way, because along with Lorenzo, Rossi and Vinales, we're all at a very similar level.

"I'm happy with my pace, but tomorrow we can improve it a little more."

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