Valentino Rossi cited acceleration issues for the reason he found himself languishing down in 17th place on the opening day of MotoGP free practice at the Sachsenring.

Despite being only 0.899 seconds behind Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest time from Friday, the Doctor found himself way down the timing sheets in seventeenth position, one spot behind MotoGP rookie Hafizh Syahrin.

The nine-times World Champion explained how whenever he was accelerating with his Yamaha M1 his rear tyre was spinning rather than driving him forwards costing him crucial time.

“Today we have a lot of problems in acceleration because if we tried to put power on the ground we spin a lot of the rear tyre,” the Italian said. “We suffer because we loose acceleration and drive.”

After the morning session Rossi was third fastest, half a second behind Marquez’ fastest time. The Italian couldn’t replicate that in the afternoon and found himself improving in time but way down the order in seventeenth. Rossi said that he and his team tried something in the afternoon but didn’t explain what it was they tried.

“We tried to do something this afternoon but unfortunately we weren’t able to improve,” he said. “So we have to continue and try tomorrow to be stronger.”