Factory Yamaha's Valentino Rossi has ruled out taking victory in Sunday's Austin MotoGP round, saying that getting on the podium will be difficult enough at the Texas track.
The nine-time world champion finished today's second free practice session in fifth place, just two tenths behind team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, but the pair were chewed up and spat out by the Honda trio of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl.
Marquez was 1.8s faster than The Doctor, who had raised his game to catch up to reigning champion Lorenzo, and even Bradl was six-tenths ahead of Rossi. He intends to change the weight distribution of the M1 overnight to try and improve rear grip without upsetting the feeling from the front.
"A win? No. No, no, no. It's very difficult for the podium already but we can try. The problem is the gap to the Honda - especially with Marquez. They are faster than us, clearly," said Rossi, speaking to bikesportnews.com at Austin.
"We will try tomorrow to modify a bit the weight without losing the feel on the front which is not so bad and put more load for create better rear grip."
Rossi is still 2.5s slower than he was in the March tests at Austin, something he puts down to the track being dirty and still not rubbered in properly. He hopes it will get better by the time the lights go out on Sunday.
"The track doesn't have very good grip and we hope that improve. I think by Sunday we can go faster. We suffer a bit with the M1 but I think it is something from the tarmac. We hope with more rubber and a lot of bike on the track it is coming better."