Valentino Rossi says he is only “half happy” with his results at the three-day Sepang Test, despite finding some improvements with his 2019 Yamaha M1 machine.
The Italian ended the third and final day of the test in 10th spot, spending the majority of the day working on the stability in braking and the smoothness of the acceleration.
The 39-year-old’s fastest lap-time (a 1:59.155 on lap nine) was almost half-a-second quicker than his best time from day two, however the overall pace of the field also improved. Six riders would end the day underneath the existing circuit record.
In the closing stages of the session Rossi would try to climb up the timing sheets, but the nine-time champion was unable to make any progress.
Speaking about the Sepang test, Rossi admitted that the team still have plenty of work to do:
“I’m half happy because some things worked well and we improved our performance, other things from which we expected a lot unfortunately didn’t bring us what we need. So, for me, it’s good, because it’s the first test and we improved some things, but we have a lot of work to do.
“The gap is quite big, so we need time. I’m happy about the atmosphere and especially about the ideas inside the garage, it looks like Yamaha are very much concentrated on improving, so this is important.”
Yamaha’s engineers will now assess the data from the Sepang test, ahead of the final pre-season test at Qatar towards the end of the month (February 23-25).
This will be the final opportunity for Rossi to test his 2019 machine before the season opener, at the same circuit, on March 10.