After a frustrating Day 2 in the desert, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) improved on the final day at the Qatar Test to finish fourth with a 1:54.651, a time that left him fifth on the combined times.
Rossi completed 38 more laps on Day 3, taking his tally up to 136 across the three days, as both he and timesheet topper Maverick Viñales continue to improve the 2019 YZR-M1. But is the nine-time World Champion satisfied as preseason draws to a close?
Decision time at the Qatar Test
“You’re never ready like you want,” began ‘The Doctor’. “For me, today was a good day, we worked in a good way, and I was quite strong. I was also strong with the race tyres, my pace is quite good. Also in the time attack I’m not so bad, I’m P5 at the end of the three days which isn’t so bad.
“For me, the race pace is quite good and also we need something more to try and fight, but for me, we closed the gap a lot because we’ve put everything together. I think for this night, we are ready. Let’s see in two weeks if it’s enough.”
The lights go out for Round 1 in less than two weeks, but who does Rossi see as the fastest riders?
“For me, Maverick is in great shape. He’s riding very well and in Malaysia and here he is always at the front. The other name is Rins, he has been riding very fast and it looks like the Suzuki has improved – Mir is quick too. The two factory Ducatis, Dovizioso is always very strong but also Petrucci was very impressive in the test. And for sure Marquez – these are the guys for me who are at the top.”
As three Yamahas sit inside the top five at the end Qatar Test, with Viñales P1 and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SIC) in P2, are things looking good for Rossi and co. to fight for victory at Losail? We don't have too much longer to wait and find out...
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