Valentino Rossi admits he needs to improve at the final pre-season test in Qatar after struggling this week at Phillip Island. The nine-time world champion was second quickest on day one but failed to make any significant improvement over the remaining two days, falling to eleventh on Friday.
Just as he was at Sepang, Rossi continues to be overshadowed by his new Movistar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales who dominated days two and three and Rossi is hoping for better in Qatar.
“Today we worked a lot on the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered in that area last year. We tried something quite different, but in the end we didn‘t improve a lot, so we‘ll have to try something else. I think the bike has good aspects, especially the engine, but for sure this test was more difficult for me than the one in Sepang. I‘m not very happy and we need to try to do better.”
Vinales’ form continues to be the story of the winter and the Spaniard heads to Qatar in confident mood and already certain on the set-up direction he needs to go.
“It was a very positive test for us. We came here to try many items and now we got things clear and we already know which set-up we can start using in Qatar. We did a lot of work and I‘m happy about that. Today we concentrated mainly on the race pace and I‘m satisfied, but we‘re still able to improve. We didn‘t decide on the fairing yet, it‘s still totally open, you never know”.