Austria the worst track of the year for Yamaha â" Rossi
Rossi struggled to the 11th fastest time during the first practice session of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring, just over a second off the pace set by Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, after having to change bikes early on due to a broken sprocket.
A rain-affected second session left Rossi in the same position overall at the end of Friday, meaning he faces having to go through Q1 if Saturday morningâs third practice session is also hit by inclement weather.
The Italian believes the combination of slow corners and long straights at the Austrian track means Yamaha â" which has gone 22 races without a win in MotoGP â" is in for another difficult weekend.
âFor me, itâs the worst configuration when you have to start from the slow hairpins, first or second gear, and after you have a long straight,â Rossi said. âItâs where we suffer more.
âSo for me the layout of th is track is the worst one for us [on the calendar].
âOur bike has a better corner speed, so in a track like Brno or Mugello, you can push under this point of view. But in Austria itâs more difficult because we donât have many of this [type of] corner.
âWe have to work in all areas, also in braking, for sure. Looks difficult, here looks like the gap to the top is bigger, and we suffer."
Rossi added the Yamahaâs habitual acceleration problems were even more pronounced in the wet, after he finished 2.3 seconds off the pace in FP2.
âOur problem in acceleration with the electronics system in the wet becomes bigger,â he said, âbecause the amount of grip is a lot less. The gap between us and the top guys becomes very big.â
Rossiâs factory teammate Maverick Vinales, 10th fastest in FP1, offered a similarly bleak assessment of Yamahaâs situation this weekend.
âStill remains a big problem, the acceleration, and on this tra ck we have to suffer,â said Vinales. âWe donât have any chance. The bike is not working, but itâs not in our hands right now.â
Keeping second in points will be hard
Rossi currently lies second in the standings, 48 points behind Marc Marquez, but is resigned to losing ground to the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo in Austria.
He said: âExcept Argentina, in all the other races Iâve finished in the top five. Even if I havenât won, Iâve managed to get on the podium many times and Iâve not thrown away points.
âIâm ahead of the Ducatis, also because they have made some errors, but it will be very difficult to keep second place in the championship, especially from Dovizioso but also from Lorenzo.
âFor this reason, it will be very important to score points on Sunday even if they are ahead.â
Additional reporting by Oriol PuigdemontSource: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria