Living legend Valentino Rossi has finally found his groove on the 2017 Movistar Yamaha after struggling through pre-season tests.
Rossi’s fortunes are finally taking a turn for the better it would seem. After a severely underwhelming performance during the pre-season tests at Valence, Sepang, and in Philip Island, there was an abundance of doubt hanging over Rossi. To see a fabled rider struggle so much on a new bike led many to question if he’d be able to mount a challenge against defending World Champion Marc Marquez.
Now, during the second day of the Qatar MotoGP test, Rossi was in high spirits after he’d finally been able to find the connection between himself and the bike:
“We improved very much the feeling with the bike because I suffered a lot in the winter tests, so this lap time is important. We will try tomorrow to continue like this and also to make the pace to try to understand our bike. For the first time with the new bike, I have a better feeling with the front and I can enter the corner faster. We tried a lot of things and I have to say thanks to Yamaha because they give me a lot of support, especially after Phillip Island because it was very bad.” – Valentino Rossi
According to Rossi, it would seem that the biggest hangup he suffered in his performance was regarding the nature of the bike’s weight distribution. Now, after applying changes and tweaks, he is finally able to control the Yamaha to his liking.
Rossi emphasized that while he had a lot of moments where he let the team down during the tests, he has been nothing but grateful for their continued support:
“We made some big changes with the weight distribution of the bike but the bike remained the same. From the first test with the 2017 version, I never had a good feeling with the front and I suffer very bad: I suffered in Valencia, in Sepang, but especially in Phillip Island. We come back home from Phillip Island very sad because we don’t find nothing, so I have to say thank you to Yamaha because they arrive here with a lot of different ideas to try and I feel better.” – Valentino Rossi
If Yamaha can answer Rossi with a solution, he will once again be a contender in the upcoming MotoGP season.