MotoGP: Rossi struggling after difficult test

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While things might have been good on the Viñales side of the Movistar Yamaha garage at last week's Phillip Island test, it was decidedly less so on his teammate’s half, with Valentino Rossi struggling through a difficult three days’ testing at a circuit that he normally excels at.

Working hard on pure testing and data collection as they look to improve how the M1 conserves its tyres into the second half of the race, Rossi put in a series of hard days riding. But with multiple entries and exits from the pits the name of the game and much of his time spent on used tyres, it means he finished far from where he wanted to be on the time sheets.

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Completing only half of the laps of his main rivals and not getting the chance to complete a full race simulation (while Viñales did two) means that he’s far from where he wanted to be.

“We tried to work a lot for the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered a lot there last year, so we tried something quite different and at the end we didn’t improve a lot, so now we have to try something else. I think that the bike has a good potential, especially with the engine, but for sure this test was more difficult for me than the other tests have been, and I’m not very happy.

“We need to try better in Qatar. We have something else to try, and for me the potential with the new tyres isn’t so bad anyway, so we can improve there.”

However, one thing that Rossi was able to decide upon at Phillip Island was the chassis that he’ll use for the remainder of 2017, opting for the updated version that he was able to test out last time at Sepang.

Designed specifically to improve tyre life at the end of races, the Italian confirmed his suspicions that it would be the one to race rather than his 2016 model.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer