Rossi: "we can be competitive for the first race" as Jerez test concludes

Rossi is setting competitive times in both the wet and the dry

Photo: Yamaha MotoGP 

Troublesome weather conditions interrupted the final day of the IRTA test for the Yamaha Factory team, however this didn’t stop returning Italian Valentino Rossi from securing a fast time in the afternoon, proving he can be competitive at the season opener in Qatar. Rossi secured a time just 0.224 behind fastest man of the day and fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow.

The nine times world champion set a time of 1.39.735 which put him in second, on a new chassis for the 2013 season and has finished this test in positive spirits. “I’m so happy at the end of today to have some quite good conditions to make some laps in the dry, because for us it was very important to try the different chassis. The feeling is generally ok; I was competitive in difficult conditions and also made good lap times with the used tyre. The new chassis has some good and bad points but I think I will start the season with the chassis from yesterday and test this one again during the season. I am happy about the test; I was competitive so I think we can be competitive for the first race in Qatar also.”

Yamaha Factory Racing teammate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo left the test feeling competitive despite finishing the day in fourth, 0.594 off Crutchlow’s time. Longer periods on track and consistency allowed the Spaniard to feel optimistic ahead of the opening race of the season. “We didn’t think we would practice so much today because the weather was so bad but finally we had two hours to practice and improve some things on the bike. I made a long run that I think was positive to understand the behavior of the bike with old tyres. We are not the fastest but I think we are very consistent. It’s been a positive test for us to gain some motivation after Austin; that was a difficult three days. It shows that every track is a different world so lets see what happens in Qatar. There can be a lot of sand on the track there so we’ll see how it is. Like every year you feel a little nervous at the beginning, its so important to start in a good way and get some points!”

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