MotoGP Qatar: Front issues remain, Rossi sets sight on second group.

“We are still quite far and not very strong,” he conceded. The time sheets showed 1.098s of difference between him and the front too, as the main area of discomfort - Michelin's softer front tyre suffering from excessive movement on entry – remain. 

However, there was progress of sorts. The issues entering the corners which saw him lag a long way behind Maverick Viñales subtly changed, leading Rossi to conclude that his crew are beginning to better understand the issue. 

It wasn't just that. Viñales may be far ahead of the rest, but Rossi believes that if the necessary improvements can be made between now and Sunday's night race, a challenging of the fight for second could be within reach. 

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“[It is a] Different feeling because I was not so bad in the FP2,” said the 38-year old. “Also in the section except for T3, where I suffer a bit too much, I was always in the top five. It was not so bad. 

“But in the afternoon [FP3] I suffer even more because of the lack of grip and also the humidity. It was more difficult conditions. Anyway, we tried to make quite a lot of changes because we have to try and always improve the entry to the corner. 

“But we are still quite far and not very strong. We have to continue to work. With the soft at the end I had the problem with the sensor so I have to put another under the suspension and I make just one lap. I think I could do a bit better but we have to work. 

“About the pace it looks like that Viñales is faster. The other ones are similar. If we are able to find the right way to be more comfortable on the entry, to have a better pace and more consistency, it looks like we are not too far. 

“Sincerely we [rider and Yamaha] speak a lot. Already we had some different options to try but at the end I have always the movement. 

“But compared with yesterday, the problem is always on the entry of the corner but we have some different problems. This is less frustrating because it's like we start to understand it in a different way.” 

Asked to expand on the issue he is encountering with the new front profile, Rossi admits it is mostly because of preference. Throughout his career, he has always favoured a harder front. 

“I always suffer with the new front tyres because the new front tyres have a casing that is a bit softer,” he said. “In all my career I always like the front very hard to have a good stability. 

“So for this reason I suffer but the tyres are that one so we need to improve, and try to use them in a better way. 

“It's not very easy because we try some different solution during this winter but always the problem of the tyre remain. But we need to find the way to improve the feeling with the front.” 

On whether the unique track conditions in Qatar are playing a part in his struggles, Rossi added, “Here is always quite difficult conditions because of the night, the sand. 

“So we hope also that we have the problem here and maybe in other tracks less. Anyway we have to find something, that's for sure.” 

Source: http://crash.net

FP3: 

1. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 54.834s [Lap 17/17] 340km/h (Top Speed) 
2. Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 54.848s +0.014s [16/17] 338km/h 
3. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 55.008s +0.174s [15/17] 341km/h 
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.042s +0.208s [13/15] 348km/h 
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 55.113s +0.279s [15/16] 344km/h 
6. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 55.211s +0.377s [15/16] 340km/h 
7. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 55.296s +0.462s [14/15] 343km/h 
8. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.435s +0.601s [15/16] 345km/h 
9. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.461s +0.627s [14/15] 349km/h 
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 55.634s +0.800s [16/16] 345km/h 
11. Alvaro Bautista ESP Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 55.676s +0.842s [17/17] 347km/h 
12. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 55.713s +0.879s [13/14] 338km/h 
13. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 55.790s +0.956s [15/15] 343km/h 
14. Karel Abraham CZE Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 56.095s +1.261s [14/16] 346km/h 
15. Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 56.249s +1.415s [16/17] 341km/h 
16. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 56.617s +1.783s [14/15] 340km/h 
17. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 56.662s +1.828s [9/14] 343km/h 
18. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 56.692s +1.858s [14/17] 342km/h 
19. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 1m 56.854s +2.020s [11/13] 336km/h 
20. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 56.935s +2.101s [4/15] 338km/h 
21. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 57.005s +2.171s [12/12] 346km/h 
22. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 57.630s +2.796s [15/17] 340km/h 
23. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 57.654s +2.820s [10/18] 337km/h

FP2:
1.
Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 55.085s [Lap 15/16] 343km/h (Top Speed) 
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.185s +0.100s [15/17] 348km/h 
3. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 55.208s +0.123s [14/15] 341km/h 
4. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 55.316s +0.231s [15/18] 345km/h 
5. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 55.378s +0.293s [4/16] 343km/h 
6. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 55.414s +0.329s [15/18] 342km/h 
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 55.581s +0.496s [14/18] 350km/h 
8. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.604s +0.519s [16/17] 348km/h 
9. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 55.698s +0.613s [5/18] 342km/h 
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 55.750s +0.665s [12/12] 340km/h 
11. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 55.760s +0.675s [12/17] 344km/h 
12. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 55.828s +0.743s [16/17] 341km/h 
13. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 55.959s +0.874s [15/17] 342km/h 
14. Karel Abraham CZE Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 56.003s +0.918s [17/18] 346km/h 
15. Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 56.069s +0.984s [15/16] 337km/h 
16. Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 56.179s +1.094s [15/18] 342km/h 
17. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 56.368s +1.283s [15/17] 343km/h 
18. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 56.501s +1.416s [15/15] 339km/h 
19. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 56.530s +1.445s [15/17] 343km/h 
20. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 56.934s +1.849s [18/18] 346km/h 
21. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 57.116s +2.031s [16/16] 343km/h 
22. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 1m 57.517s +2.432s [14/15] 336km/h 
23. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 58.020s +2.935s [12/17] 339km/h 

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