Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi only needs to find ‘two or three tenths’ by the end of the Qatar MotoGP test in order to be right on the pace.
The Doctor, who finished four-tenths behind Alex Rins yesterday, says he is already in better shape than this time last year over one lap and on used tyres. Rossi put in 13 1’55s laps with a best of 1’54.876 - a tenth under Jorge Lorenzo’s 2016 lap record.
It is a positive day because we confirmed what we saw in Sepang. At the end I finished in P7 but throughout the day I was quite constant and had a good pace,” said Rossi.
“So, we are very happy because it looks like the bike is improving compared to last year and the first test. We work well in the box, and we were able to improve.
For the fight for the victory I need a little bit more, two or three tenths in the hot lap, but also in terms of pace.
“Some riders are a little bit faster than me, so we have to work. But it’s just the first day, and we are already faster than last year. We have a positive feeling with the bike.”
Yamaha don’t have much in the way of new parts to test and have already decided on their engine specification for the year, so this test is to find grip on used tyres and finalise electronic packages.