Rossi 12th: ‘I’m not very happy...’
While things might have been good on the Viñales side of the Movistar Yamaha garage, it was decidedly less so on his team-mate’s side, with Valentino Rossi struggling through a difficult three days’ at a circuit where he normally excels.
Working hard on race pace and data collection as they look to improve how the M1 conserves its tyres into the second half of the race, Rossi put in three hard days riding. But with multiple entries and exits from the pits, and much of his time spent on used tyres, it meant he languished in 12th spot.
Completing far fewer laps than most of his rivals and not getting the chance complete a full race simulation ( Viñales did two) means that Rossi is a long way off where he wanted to be.
“We tried to work on the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered a lot there last year. We tried something different and at the end we didn’t improve a lot, so now we have to try something else. I think the bike has good potential, especially with the engine, but for sure this was more difficult for me than the other tests and I’m not very happy.
“We need to be better in Qatar. We have something else to try, and for me the potential with the new tyres isn’t so bad anyway, so we can improve there.”
One thing that Rossi was able to decide on at Phillip Island was the chassis that he’ll use for 2017, opting for the updated version that he tested last time at Sepang designed specifically to improve tyre life at the end of races.
2017 hasn’t started well for Rossi