Rossi: Friday pace "not strong enough"

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi conceded that the pace he had shown in Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix was "not strong enough" to fight for the top spots.

Rossi: Friday pace "not strong enough"
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Rossi, who has two premier-class race wins at Motegi, was fourth in FP1 and seventh in FP2, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo topping the latter session.

"In the morning, not so bad, I felt quite good with the bike and I was quite strong. But in the afternoon, it was a difficult practice," Rossi admitted.

"We tried the hard tyres, didn't work, and I lost also some feeling. I need a little bit to come back - in the last exit, the third exit, I was on the right tyres and I was not so bad, I improved a lot my laptime.

"But still I am not okay with the setting of the bike."

The Italian said that he and the team took a different direction with the set-up of the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the second session, and that the decision did not pay dividends.

"This afternoon we tried to make something different, we tried to modify quite a lot, but... it's not the right way, I'm not strong enough.

"I'm not so far but it's not the way. So for tomorrow, we will try to do other things and we will also use softer tyres to understand. And after, we'll see.

"We'll try to be stronger because like this it's not enough for fighting."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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