Rossi: "Maximum effort required to beat rivals"

Rossi: “Maximum effort required to beat rivals”
Thursday, 28 February 2013

Valentino Rossi was cheerful following Thursday’s final day of testing in Malaysia, but admits that beating his rivals will be no easy feat in 2013. The nine-time world champion ends this week’s proceedings fifth overall, behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow as well as Repsol Honda Team and his teammate.

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo led the way with his personal best ever lap of Sepang. Rossi’s quickest tour came in the form of 2’01.062, which is some three quarters of a second slower than the Spaniard.

“The balance is not so bad but we were struggling a bit more in comparison with the first two days,” Rossi told motogp.com during a video interview. “We were a bit unlucky today, encountering lots of small problems with the bike which slowed our work down. Anyway, in the end I was able to improve my lap time and stay fourth - and not so far from Jorge.”

When sizing up the competition for the season ahead, Rossi added:

“We already know that the Hondas are very fast – both of them – and that Lorenzo is very impressive. To fight with those three guys, we need to put in maximum effort and maybe more.”

Lorenzo can perhaps relax a little more, having this week beaten the official Sepang lap record despite not moving inside of Dani Pedrosa’s lap of 2’00.100, which came at the earlier Malaysian test three weeks ago. However Lorenzo is pleased that his first race simulation run of 2013 is now in the bag.

“Finally we were able to complete a race simulation,” he began. “It was much harder (than usual) because we did it at the hottest point of the day, so it was physically difficult and I didn’t have a great feeling from the front end. So the lap times during that run were not as good as I expected but, with the problems we had, it wasn’t so bad.”

This year Lorenzo is aiming for not only a third premier class crown but a first consecutive title win, having notched up his previous pair in 2010 and 2012.

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