Misano MotoGP: Valentino Rossi to run new engine in Misano

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Valentino Rossi has confirmed he expects to try Yamaha’s new pneumatic valve YZR-M1 motor in tomorrow’s practice for the Misano MotoGP race. The Italian tested the revised four-cylinder motor at a test session immediately after the Czech Republic MotoGP race in Brno earlier this month.

Although its performance was only marginally better than the conventional spring valve system engine Valentino Rossi has run all season, he will gauge its competitiveness tomorrow when free practice gets underway. Riders have more time to experiment tomorrow with an extra session of practice to allow them to acclimatise to the new Misano circuit, which hasn’t hosted a MotoGP race since 1993.

Valentino Rossi said: “It is the first step of development and tomorrow we will try and use it here to understand if we have some more advantage compared to the normal one. Compared to Brno we have less straights here so maybe the engine is a little bit less important.”

Valentino Rossi said more pressing than finding engine performance to fight with the Ducati of Casey Stoner was to improve the performance of Michelin’s tyres.

Valentino Rossi slumped to seventh in Brno having struggled with rear grip and he added: “The bigger problem is from our tyres. It’s difficult, we find some small improvements at the test that for sure we try here but not the big step like we need to fight with Bridgestone.”

Valentino Rossi refused to write off his world title hopes though seem resigned to not winning the premier class crown for a second successive season. He trails Stoner by 60-points with just six races remaining and he said:

“It’s a big gap. The world championship is finished when the maths say it is finished, but 60-points is a lot. The last three races we have not been at the top. In Laguna Seca and Brno we are not fast enough to even get on the podium so it will tough but we will try and the maximum.”

Valentino Rossi is preparing for his first MotoGP race in Misano, which is close to his Tavullia home, and he said he is excited at the prospect.

“It is very strange to come to Misasno for a MotoGP race. For me it’s a big emotion because the first time I enter in a real track with a big bike was in Misano. Now the track is completely different but in the past I did a lot of races here – Italian championship, sport production and I the first kilometres on a 125 Grand Prix bike. It’s very good because in this part of Italy the passion for motorcycling is very good.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt