The second fastest time set by Valentino on day one of testing at Valencia might make it look like it was the perfect day but it's not all as it seems. Rossi has waited a long time for the new M1, its debut was delayed and not all the promises have been kept. As if that wasn't enough, there was also a crash that further slowed progress.
Valentino, how would you sum up the day?
“Productive, there were various things to test. I started with this year's bike and set a good time, then I tried the new engine”.
And how was it?
“It's a first evolution of the 2017 engine, I was very curious and, to be honest, I expected more. I think the Japanese engineers are of the same opinion: there's still work to do, it's not fantastic”.
Did you also test the new frame?
“Yes, my first sensations were good, but unfortunately I crashed while using it and so we only got half the work done. The frame wasn't damaged but the whole bike needed to be rebuilt and we lost half the day. We'll pick it up again tomorrow".
How did you crash?
“The problem is that we only have two soft front tyres, those used for the race. Just two, for the whole day. It's not the best to be here with so much to test and only two tyres. So I put in the hard front tyre, otherwise I'd never have done so, and I crashed on lap two. Unfortunately it wasn't a small crash”.
Vinales set the fastest time...
“I haven't yet had a chance to talk with him, but he did well and was immediately quick”.
Are you surprised by him, Lorenzo and Iannone?
“There's no surprise, I expected them to be quick from the outset. They are three top riders”.