Plenty of promise for Rossi at Sepang

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Valentino Rossi set a new personal best at Sepang today but the Italian could only manage the fourth fastest time as the first test of 2015 drew to a close. The Italian struggled with chatter problems yesterday however setup changes cured that problem today and Rossi was able to set about performing a race simulation as well as his early fast lap.

"I am happy because yesterday was more difficult and today I enjoy a lot more," said Rossi. "We modified the setting of the bike and it turns better and we fix the chatter. I was a lot faster than yesterday and my lap of 59.4 is my personal best in Sepang and that is positive. The bike is good to ride and I think that the test is good. The problem is the Honda."

Over a single lap Marc Marquez was over half a second faster than Rossi but with the track conditions changing considerably from when the track action started to midday and the evening it can be difficult to completely compare the relative speed of riders. During his race simulation Rossi was pleased with his consistency and while Dani Pedrosa was faster during longer stints the performance of the Yamaha is very encouraging. When it is considered that Yamaha has not won at Sepang since Rossi's victory in 2010 it's clear that the performance of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo is one that can be built upon for the season.

"In my race simulation we tried some settings to understand that I didn’t like a lot so maybe I can do a little bit better. We are not very far off but compared to the factory Honda we are a little bit slower. Our performance is positive but we know that if we want to try to fight we have to make the bike better."

With Yamaha possibly running a full seemless shift gearbox at the next test in two weeks that improvement could come quite soon for Rossi and Lorenzo

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Steve English

By Steve English