Monster Energy Factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi said that he had fun on his factory Yamaha, and when he does, he can be fast. Finishing the opening day of free practice seventh fastest at the Circuit de Catalunya.
After possibly the worst weekend of his MotoGP career last time out in Mugello, the Italian came out positively and was happy with his new approach to the weekend.
“In Italy and at Le Mans before that we had some things to test, something we have to do as a factory team is to be able to improve the bike, especially at a time like that,” said Rossi.
“Today though, we focused more on the race weekend itself, leaving the M1 in its standard configuration.
“I went into the last two rounds feeling optimistic, because last year I’d reached the podium, but instead we need a rest.
“Today we’ve worked well and I felt comfortable on the bike. I had fun riding it and when I do, I can be quite fast.”
When asked how fast he thinks he can be this weekend, Rossi said: “It’s too early to say. It’s only Friday and many riders have good pace. Mine is nothing special, but I am not too far from the fastest guys.
“I’m taking it session-by-session for now.”
Many riders have expressed concern about the track temperatures which are expected to rise tomorrow, leaving even less grip on the track. When asked about it, Rossi said that he is hoping it doesn’t affect him too much.
“The track has lost a lot of grip compared to last year, when it was new. I was able to rider well today though, even in the afternoon heat.”