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MotoGP, Valentino Rossi: faster than last year

TEST TIMES. "Marquez and Lorenzo? Both dangerous. I'm going to prove that 2015 wasn't my last shot at the title"

Valentino Rossi: faster than last year

Despite the celebrations and the (deserved) late start, Valentino Rossi completed 52 laps at the Jerez tests. His best lap came in the final stages, a 1’39”632 that placed him 4th at the end of the day. Rather than tyres and frames, he prefers to talk about the win.

It was a fantastic race, I watched it five or six times before going to sleep and it seemed better each time - he says - A win is always important but, when you start from pole, set the best lap and hold the lead from beginning to end, it's even more significant. The secret was our approach and the good work completed throughout the weekend which allowed us to improve session after session.

Exactly what he needed.

It came at the right time, even if the points lost are felt when it comes to the standings - he continues - I think there are two explanations for the win. The first is that I feel good with the M1 and the Michelins, I'm faster than last year. Then there's another motivation that stems from last year: I led the championship from the first race and I lost it at the final race, I wanted to try again. What happened will stay with me, but I read that it could have been my last shot at the title. We'll try to prove that that is not true.”

You mean, beat Marquez and Lorenzo.

I don't have a preference for finishing in front of one or the other, I consider them to be on the same level, even if Jorge is riding the same bike as me - he explains - I can't say who is more dangerous right now, because the balances have shifted this season. Lorenzo is very strong, but Marquez has won two of four races.

Today he's completed more work that will contribute to his goal.

I didn't have many things to test, mainly the bike with the tank cap at the rear. I feel even better with the standard M1, it has better balance on corner entry. Then there were the front tyres that Michelin brought and I found something good there too.

At the end of the day, Rossi closed 0”319 from Marquez, the fastest rider on track, with Lorenzo just 0.019 behind. A step forward for Suzuki with Vinales, roughly one tenth in front of the Doctor. Behind Rossi were, in order, Pedrosa, Aleix Espargarò, Crutchlow, Iannone and Pol Espargarò: these first 9 riders all lapped in under 1’40”.

Tenth for Dovizioso seven tenths back, while Smith was more than a second from the front. The best Aprilia (here with a new frame and swing-arm) was that of Bradl, 13th and 1”361 from the front, while Bautista was 17th.

I TEMPI FINALI

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Translated by Heather Watson

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