Under the Qatari night sky, Valentino Rossi wants #46 to shine bright. The Losail track suits the characteristics of the M1, but he'll also be dealing with Honda and Ducati, both of which have made a strong impression over the winter. The pre-season was definitely not an easy one for the Yamaha rider, but the nine-time champion now has clearer ideas, at least with respect to his team-mate.
The Doctor is ready to do battle: "We've finally arrived at the first race of this new season, and after many tests, getting to the first race is always nice. The pre-season tests were important, we understood our weak points and the strong ones. We have to keep working, but everyone at Yamaha wants to improve, to do nice races and win."
The Italian's mind is focused solely on the race: “We still have the free practice sessions to improve, to do another step. I feel good, I trained well this winter and I'm ready to start this new season."
On the other side of the garage, Maverick Vinales, winner of last year's Grand Prix, is keen: “Unfortunately last year was difficult for me with many ups and downs, but above all I learned a lot during the season with my M1, and now I feel that we can do great things this year and that we can fight throughout the championship to win the title."
The Spaniard doesn't hide the fact that the M1 is suffering from some electronic difficulties: “We still have some small problems with the electronics, but I think we will reach 100% at the first GP. Qatar is a track that I really like, I won my first GP with Yamaha there, so I will do my best to be on the podium again this week."