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Published: 19:31 | 10/8/18

Rossi braced for damage limitation in Austria

Valentino Rossi admits it will be damage limitation in the drivers' championship this weekend describing the Spielberg Red Bull Ring circuit in Austria as the worst on the calendar for his Yamaha.

The veteran Italian, who is in second place in the standings - 48 points adrift of championship leader Marquez - was only 11th in Friday's FP1 in the dry and even further behind in wet conditions in FP2.

Rossi believes the circuit's slow corners and long straights does not suit the Yamaha and is worried Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will overtake him in the drivers' championship - Dovi is only 19 points behind.

The seven-time MotoGP champion was a second behind the fastest lap recorded by Dobizioso in the morning after being forced to change bikes following a broken sprocket. He then trailed Marquez by over two seconds in the wet.

The Austrian Moto GP at the Spielberg Red Bull Ring will be shown live on BT Sport 2 on the eir sport pack on Sunday, 12 August. [race starts 1pm]. 

"For me, it's the worst configuration when you have to start from the slow hairpins, first or second gear, and after you have a long straight," he said. "It's where we suffer more. So for me the layout of this track is the worst one for us.

"Our 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 it's more difficult because we don't have many of this corner.

"We have to work in all areas, also in braking, for sure. Looks difficult here with the gap to the top bigger and we suffer."

Rossi, who has not won in 22 races, has climbed to second in the championship on the back of consistent high finishes - only once being outside the top five when he struggled to 19th in Argentina in April.

He added: "Except Argentina, in all the other races  I've finished in the top five," he added. "Even if I haven't won, I've managed to get on the podium many times and I've not thrown away points.

"I'm ahead of the Ducatis also because they have made so many errors, but it will be very difficult to keep second place in the championship, especailly from Dovizioso, but also from Lorenzo.

"For this reason, it will be very important to score points on Sunday - even if they are ahead."

The Austrian Moto GP at the Spielberg Red Bull Ring will be shown live on BT Sport 2 on the eir sport pack on Sunday, 12 August. [race starts 1pm]. 

Image: Getty/ Mirco Lazzari

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