Valentino Rossi experienced a frustrating start to the second MotoGP test in Sepang today when a technical issue and heavy afternoon rain restricted him to just 25-laps.
The Italian was prevented from completing any meaningful testing on the new 2013 factory Yamaha YZR-M1 when a small electrical fault forced him to set his best time of 2.02.028 on last year’s model.
And by the time Yamaha had fixed the electrical gremlin, torrential rain that fell on and off for the final three hours kept Rossi holed up in Yamaha's factory garage.
The nine-times world champion ended the opening day in fifth place, with his best time 0.448s behind Dani Pedrosa’s best of 2.01.580.
The 33-year-old said: “Today was boring to be here and not be able to work. This morning I had a problem with the new bike and so I used the old one while the guys fixed the 2013 model. I did 25 laps but just to try something with the set-up to improve the braking and it was not so bad.
I decided to wait until this afternoon for the new bike and to work on that because from tomorrow I will have two new bikes. But unfortunately the afternoon was a waste of time with the rain. But we will try again tomorrow and if it is wet again I will try the bike in wet conditions.”
Rossi said the problem was a simple electrical fault and nothing too problematic. “It was a problem with a wire connector and they had to do a lot of work to find it. But it is not a big problem, "he added.
Rossi, who finished the opening Sepang test earlier this month in a morale-boosting third place overall, said his target this week was to cut the gap between himself and leading Spanish duo Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
He ended the first test 0.442s behind Pedrosa and he told MCN: “The first goal is to try to make a smaller gap to the fastest time, which was 0.4s at the first test and then try to understand which rhythm I can reach for a long distance like 15 or 18 or 20 laps."
For comprehensive coverage of the second Sepang MotoGP test, see the March 6 issue of MCN.