“I expected to be faster here”
The second night of the first ever MotoGP night test in Qatar saw Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi running into some unexpected problems, finishing the test tenth overall.
Rossi and his crew spent the day working on Bridgestone
tyre testing and set-up, but were unable to find time to complete a planned race simulation.
Despite a less than positive last day of preparation, Rossi remains confident that he will be in good shape for the first race, which will take place under the floodlights in ten day's time. His best lap 1'56.256 was set on his 69th of 83 laps.
“I cannot say I am happy with this test and speaking honestly I expected to be faster here”, he admitted. “Unfortunately we wasted some time working on the set-up of the bike to try to adapt it to some tyres that we then decided to abandon. Once we'd made this decision we worked with different tyres and things improved a bit, but the test was nearly over and we didn't have enough time to complete all the work we wanted to do. Because of this I did not do a race simulation, but I was able to make two good runs. Unfortunately however it wasn't enough time to improve as much as we could have and I am still lacking a couple of tenths. Generally speaking however all of the winter tests, barring this one, have been positive for us; I was fast in Sepang and fast in Jerez. It's a pity that I wasn't able to be fast here as well, but we have some good ideas for the next week and this does not dent my confidence.”
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo topped the time sheets, after an impressive lap of 1'54.552 on qualifying tyres.
Rossi's Team manager Davide Brivio commented : "We expected to be faster here in Qatar, but we have collected a lot of useful information. We will have to exploit the next four hours of practice in the best way next week, in order to be able to fight at the front. Our engineers have some ideas to apply to the bike, so we will try to make things better. We must improve, this is obvious, but we know we still have one full weekend to work on our bike.
Generally speaking, our winter testing was satisfactory and so, despite this last test, we maintain our confidence for the start of the season."