YamahaMotoGP rider Valentino Rossi has completed two successful days of testing on the back of his second 4th position grand prix finish this year at the Catalan GP, outside Barcelona.
|Control under heavy braking has seen a big improvement
Following Sunday’s Grand Prix, Rossi and his Yamaha crew stayed the following day for an official MotoGP mid-season test, which saw the Italian finish 6th fastest behind Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow in 5th. Rossi was still searching for solutions to the niggling front end and braking issues which he’s endured for the majority of the season so far; these issues resulted in the Italian losing up to a tenth to his Yamaha team mates in the main three braking zones at the Montmelò circuit over the weekend. As testing came to a close in Catalonia, Rossi said that he and the team had perhaps found some solutions to the problems they had been having and were looking to confirm these findings today at Aragón.
Rossi completed 54 laps at Aragón, testing Bridgestone’s new front tyre and trawling through various changes to the front end of his M1 in the hope of confirming the better feeling he received on Monday. He said that he hasfound a substantially improved setup for the Aragón track as well as significant improvements to the feeling of his Yamaha under heavy braking.
The Italian finished the day with a 1m 49.007s lap, putting him 4th out of the six riders present at the test. Rossi found himself a second adrift from his team mate, Lorenzo who posted a lap record breaking time toward the end of the day. Despite this, Rossi is very excited about his ‘new’ feeling with the M1 and is thoroughly looking forward to the fast approaching Dutch GP at Assen, in just over a week. “First of all we modified a bit the setting and also the front fork and now I feel more confident in braking, I can brake deeper and stop the bike in a better way. For me this is the biggest improvement. After this we tried the swing arm like Jorge has it, a little bit more stiff which I like. We tried some other small things; at the end we made a good package that gives me a really good feeling, especially in braking. I’m so happy because until today I didn’t have this feeling in braking, I am always in a bit of trouble. I can’t wait for Assen to understand if this is also improved at other tracks. It is important for the qualification lap because you have to push more in braking. This result is especially important here in Aragon as this is not one of my best tracks. I have not made great races here yet but the pace today and the lap times at the end make me very happy.”