Confident Rossi shrugs off first lap crash

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Valentino Rossi has shrugged off a crash after only ten corners of the Losail circuit in yesterday’s first day of testing at the Qatari track. The Movistar Yamaha rider got caught out at turn ten on his first exit from pit lane, but was quick to laugh about it afterwards.

“The start wasn’t fantastic! I wasn’t going too fast, but I gave it too much angle on the left side and the tyre was cold. It was only a small slide though, and I am ok. In a way, it is good, because it helps to understand the tyres.”

Once he got going, though, Rossi quickly got up to speed, finishing the day third fastest behind only teammate Jorge Lorenzo and the Suzuki of Maverick Viñales; the same order the trio left Phillip Island in after the last day of testing at the Australian track two weeks ago.

And with that speed came confidence, with a relaxed Rossi saying after the day’s session that he now feels like they are in a strong position to repeat last year’s round one success at the floodlit race.

“After the problem we jumped on the other bike and I‘m quite satisfied about today because, also here in Qatar, it looks like our bike is competitive. We can be strong and fast and this is the most important thing, because it’s already the third track where the Yamaha is competitive.

“We also started with a good base set-up, in fact I didn‘t work a lot on it. I felt good from the first moment and rode quite fast and I was able to consistently improve my lap times and in the end I‘m in the third position, so it was a good day.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer