Qatar MotoGP test: Rossi has ‘only a few laps with new chassis’

| | MotoGP

Valentino Rossi took to the Qatar track aboard his new Petronas-liveried YZR-M1 for the first time this afternoon completing 54 laps as he re-familiarised himself with the lay of the land.

Spending part of his time testing a new chassis, the Italian joined teammate Franky Morbidelli in the top ten for the majority of the day’s seven-hour schedule before ending in 14th place with a fastest time of 1’55.584 and 0.897s shy of Aprilia’s benchmark rider Aleix Espargaro.

“It was a bit strange,” Rossi commented “because the winter break was a bit longer, compared to normal, so at the beginning the MotoGP bike is always impressive because when it’s three months that you don’t ride, it’s fast, you know. You need to make some kms.

“It was the start of the new adventure and I was very excited for my first day with Petronas, everything is good and we enjoy a lot

“At the end, the result, my position was not fantastic but we worked well and as always everybody is very close. My pace was quite good all day.

“The atmosphere in the team is good, we will have something to try for Yamaha and we hope to find something better than last year.

“Today we basically worked on the standard bike and we haven’t tried a lot of new things, only a very few laps with the new chassis, that we want to keep testing in the following days. We still have in front of us a long testing plan, to help us improve.”

Regarding working with the new team, the 41-year-old explained “You know, it’s a bit different, you have a bit less people around the bike, a bit less Japanese engineers, but at the end it’s not a big difference, it’s the same. What I like is that the atmosphere is more relaxed, like you have a little bit less pressure, but I’m happy. It’s good.”