Rossi and Vinales could not be in more different moods as they reach Malaysia. While Maverick is of course galvanised by his win at Phillip Island (“it helps, it's given the team motivation” states team manager Meregalli), Valentino can only be disappointed with his 6th place finish in Australia.
The Sepang GP is an important one for the Doctor, giving him another chance to prove that he is as competitive as his team-mate and allowing Yamaha to see whether the improvements with the M1 are paying off. Last year, in the wet, it was Zarco who saved the race with a podium, while the two factories riders were far off the pace. 2016 saw Valentino close second though.
“Unfortunately in Australia I lost important points for the championship and I'm very disappointed about that, but I'm happy for Maverick and for Yamaha. Now we have to concentrate on the third and last race overseas at Sepang and it will be important to have a good weekend. We must continue to work hard because we have to be competitive at every race. Sepang is not one of our favourite tracks, but we will always try our hardest to get the best results possible."
A goal shared by the Spaniard, who feels strong and ready to face the Malaysian weekend. Vinales needed a result that would chase away past ghosts, and a victory is the best kind of exorcism, if we can call it that.
"After the victory in Australia, sincerely, I‘m very happy. The team has worked very hard to overcome the crisis that we were going through. I‘m feeling comfortable and I‘ve regained my confidence. But we have to think about the next race in Sepang."
"We are highly motivated. It’s a circuit with very different climate conditions to those we've had in Phillip Island and in Japan - it’s always really hot and that makes it a very physically demanding race. I thought we made an important step in Phillip Island and actually I felt really good on my M1. We are on the right path and if we continue like this, hopefully we can finish the season with more victories."