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Rossi: “I like the chassis a lot”

It’s a positive ‘Doctor’ after Day 1 at Sepang

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) led the way for much of the afternoon on Day 1 of testing in Malaysia, and the number 46 finally ended the session in sixth and top Yamaha. He’s positive and happy with the base they have to work with – including some laps in the wet during a rainy morning; something that proved a difficulty for the Iwata marque in 2017.

“The first impression is positive, it was a good first day,” says the rider from Tavullia. “In the wet I was in fifth, but with a good feeling and I wasn’t so far – also because it was starting to dry. It was difficult to understand the conditions, but not so bad. In the dry I was strong and I am happy because we finished our programme and tested everything, and I was still able to make a good lap time.”

That’s the programme for the day, of course, with two more test days at Sepang still remaining. And it’s the 2016 chassis they’ve used as a starting point, explains Rossi – another positive for the Italian. Work also centered around the engine and electronics.

MotoGP™ riders on the #SepangTest Day 1

“We worked in a good way. The chassis is an evolution of 2016 and I like it a lot, because I can ride more easily,” explains the nine-time World Champion. “We’ve concentrated in other areas like the engine – we had two different engines to focus on acceleration, and on the straight we are quite fast. We worked on the electronics a lot to improve acceleration and tyre degradation. From what I understood after the November test, with the 2016 base it makes the bike better to ride for me. After this you can improve in other areas but the important thing is that. When I push, the laptime is there and I feel good, and with laptimes it’s good too.”

Day 2 kicks off from 10:00 (GMT +8) at Sepang on Monday.