MotoGP: Rossi rides prototype 2018 bike at Misano test
Valentino Rossi has tested the 2018 model Yamaha M1 machine for the first time at last weekend’s one-day private test in Misano, admitting today at Silverstone that he was given the chance to take to the track on the machine ahead of next year.
But while he says the new machine was a positive step forwards from the troubled 2017 bike that he’s never gelled with, Rossi also admitted that it’s unlikely that he and teammate Maverick Viñales will be given the opportunity to try out the machine before the end of this season despite their ongoing woes.
“The test was quite positive because we tried the first prototype of the 2018 bike, and it was not so bad. We tried some things for the traction control on the current bike and some other things, mainly for the race there next month, and the lap times were not so bad. It looks like with used tyres we can keep quite a good pace. For sure if you can do a test before the race, it changes the story, because you can start at 70%.
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“I think that the new bike will be for 2018, but Maverick and I spoke a lot with the engineers and for sure we will work stronger to be more competitive in the remaining races this year.”
However, the Italian is looking forward to this weekend’s British Grand Prix, admitting that Silverstone is one of his favourite circuits on the calendar even if it is a challenge for rider and machine.
“Silverstone is a very fun and beautiful track but also very demanding. This track is very long and there are so many changes of direction at high speed. Its important to find a perfect set-up of the bike, in braking and in the fast corners. Its a really nice track for me and for my riding style. I want to do a good weekend and fight for the podium.”