Rain in Spain a pain for Valentino Rossi

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Yamaha’s gamble to abandon the Valencia test to go in search of improved conditions at the Motorland Aragon track backfired as further rain disrupted Valentino Rossi’s early 2013 MotoGP preparations.

The Italian had completed only two tentative laps on slicks in Valencia on Tuesday when he made his long awaited return to a factory Yamaha YZR-M1 after a disastrous spell with Ducati.

With newly crowned world champion Jorge Lorenzo not even lapping in wet conditions in Valencia, Yamaha gambled on taking advantage of better forecasts at the Motorland Aragon track yesterday (Wednesday).

But the test was rain-affected again with Rossi only completing two laps on a wet surface. The 33-year-old will now have to wait until early February for his first serious outing on the YZR-M1 when the MotoGP grid returns from the winter break in Sepang.

Lorenzo completed nine laps at the Motorland Aragon but his test was halted after he escaped unhurt from a crash at Turn 16.

Lorenzo said: “For sure these last two days we’ve been unlucky with the weather and couldn’t practice for many laps. It was important to get practice here because we have things to try for the chassis and engine for the new season so we can give as much information as possible to the engineers so they can keep working over the winter in Japan. Now we will have to wait until the next opportunity.”

Had Yamaha stayed in Valencia they would have at least got in some vital dry testing mileage after heavy rain that was predicted never materialised and the field could lap on Bridgestone slick rubber for the final two hours.

For six pages of coverage from the opening winter test, see the November 21 issue of MCN.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt