MotoGP: Rossi improving, but not fast enough

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Valentino Rossi has admitted that despite some positive results form this week’s three-day MotoGP test at Phillip Island, he and his Movistar Yamaha team didn’t find the progress that they were hoping for.

Working on a new chassis aimed to help improve the life of the Michelin tyres and to give more performance in the second half of the race, the nine-time champion admitted that he wasn’t delighted with the results.

“Today we worked a lot on the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered in that area last year. We tried something quite different, but in the end we didn‘t improve a lot, so we‘ll have to try something else. I think the bike has good aspects, especially the engine, but for sure this test was more difficult for me than the one in Sepang. I‘m not very happy and we need to try to do better.”

Made even worse for Rossi by teammate Maverick Viñales blitzing the field to finish well clear at the top, team boss Massimo Meregalli was understandably more pleased with the test – and concluded that while it might not have been as successful as hoped, it gave them valuable data.

“Today we had the opportunity to attempt two race simulations with Maverick and we also tried some new settings with Valentino. The fast pace that Maverick was able to keep up during the long runs proves that we have improved the rear tyre life, which was one of our main objectives for this season.

“Though we couldn‘t fully decide which chassis we will use, we accomplished most of what we had set out to do here and we leave Phillip Island topping today‘s and the combined timesheets thanks to Maverick‘s impressive 1‘28.549s lap. We secured a lot of interesting information, which will allow our engineers to prepare another step for the test in Qatar in March.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer