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MotoGP, Rossi: the new M1? maybe in February

"Sepang and Valencia are two important races in terms of deciding on development". On Morbidelli's match point: "I don't need to tell him anything"

MotoGP: Rossi: the new M1? maybe in February

Without any particular championship goals, Sepang and Valencia are now races in which Valentino will be looking to the future. On the one hand, he'll try to complete races as positive as Phillip Island but on the other hand he'll lay the foundations for 2018, because the M1 needs some adjustments ahead of the new season.

In Malaysia eight months ago, the Doctor was going through a tough time. “I was very worried, I couldn't ride the 2017 bike while Vinales was fast. I put something together on the last day but then I still had a lot of issues at Phillip Island. It was one of the most negative tests I've had since returning to Yamaha”.

Can you now see light at the end of the tunnel?
In Australia the race went a lot better than the tests, the bike is very different to how it was in winter and so we'll see what happens here. It's an important race.

Why?
In terms of making decision on the development of the M1 for next year and having confirmation of the improvements made at Phillip Island. It will be a problem if it doesn't happen. Sepang and Valencia are two tracks where rear tyre wear is a real issue, so we can have some important indications”.

When will we see the 2018 version of the M1?
Not at Valencia I don't think, I don't know if we'll even have it for the private tests in November. I may only get to ride it in February next year”.

Is that a big problem?
“The sooner the bike arrives, the better of course, but a lot depends on how the next two races go. They have a lot of ideas in Japan as to how to improve it and these last races will help us decide which direction to take".

Things went well in Australia…
I really enjoyed fighting to the wire at Phillip Island, like I said it was a significant result for me, coming back from injury, and for my team. it's a different story here, I like the track but bad weather seems to be following us around this year”.

And in the wet…
I'm not as competitive as last year. Vinales seemed to have found something interesting in Australia, he was close Marquez. I tried different things and wasn't as fast. it looks like we'll have a good chance of riding in the wet here (he laughs)”.

It will also be an important weekend for Morbidelli, one of your Academy riders, as he fights to secure the Moto2 title. Has he asked you for any advice?
Franco and I talk a lot, whenever we can, and he hasn't asked me anything in particular. I don't need to tell him anything, he seems calm and fast”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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