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MotoGP, Rossi: "we're finally all moving in the same direction"

Valentino speaks positively about the M1 at Sepang: "Vinales and I agree on development, but we need more. We have only one engine but I like it."

MotoGP: Rossi:

Valentino has unveiled a new street art-inspired helmet at Sepang, but this didn't come as the day's biggest news. All eyes were on the M1 and the stopwatch, everyone keen to see whether Yamaha has finally managed to climb out of the quick sand in which it has been wallowing for a long while. As Rossi puts it: “in general, sensations on the bike are good”, his comment at the end of day one of testing, having rounded out the sessions in 6th position.

Do you have positive things to say about the new M1?
This first day has been quite positive, I had good sensations on the bike right from the outset and we're not doing badly when the tyres start to wear either, that was our weak point. We've also tested material to improve our performance. We're on the right track, but we need something more.

Do you feel optimistic?
I'm quite pleased because yesterday I spoke at length with the engineers and they have good ideas, there's a good atmosphere and I can see they are very focused”.

How has the bike changed with respect to the November tests?
We only had some small new details to test at Valencia and Jerez, here we have bigger things and I'm pleased with the path we're on. Maverick, the engineers and I all agree on the bike's weak points, we're all moving in the same direction. Now, we just need time to sort them out (he laughs)”.

Have you already decided on an engine to use this season?
At Jerez we had two quite similar engines, here I only have one, the Yamaha technicians have told me this is mine. That's ok with me as I like it, we don't have many doubts in that respect but we need to work on acceleration and our speed with the used tyres. These are our aims for winter”.

Speaking of tyres, have you already tested the new Michelin solutions?
We'll do that tomorrow, today I used the standard tyres. The new options are interesting at least on paper”.

Has the engine brake improved at all?
They've worked a lot on this, also because Maverick has been pushing for it and he's right. The engine has improved, and I can say the same for the electronics and frame. Times were good today”.

Has the arrival of the single inertial platform changed anything?
I see no difference, it's no better and no worse”.

Sepang is a track at which you were fast in 2018, is it limiting to test here?
On the one hand, it's positive to come to a track where we've been competitive to see if we can be even quicker and also because we have key data with which to compare performance. On the other hand, it would be useful to test also at tracks where we had more problems last season. This year we have only two tests, here and at Losail, both tracks where we are strong, so even if we are very fast, we shouldn't be too optimistic”.

Have you kept an eye on anyone on track?
“The Ducati continues to be very fast in acceleration, we know they have a very powerful engine but I think the traction makes the difference. Another area we need to work on.

Dovizioso has said that Morbidelli rides like a top rider, what do you think?
I thought he did very well at Valencia and Jerez, while today he seemed to struggle a little. It's only day one, Franco will definitely be more competitive on the Yamaha than he was last year”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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