Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi has decided to stick with the standard M1 chassis, after having a new one available to him, and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for the Dutch MotoGP round at Assen.
The multiple champion tried out both frame’s during today’s free practice sessions. He concluded that he will stick with the standard chassis because he experienced a ‘better front feeling’, instead of the upgraded version given to the Yamaha crew during the recent test in Catalunya.
The Italian ended the day second fastest with a 1’33.595, and did lead the charge, until the Ducati of Andrea Iannone pipped him to the post by 0.004 seconds. Rossi was victorious at the track last year, and wants to replicate his winning form once again, but he will be keeping a close eye on the weather tomorrow and on Sunday.
“In Barcelona we tried a different chassis but I wasn’t very sure about the improvement so today we compared another time in another track and at the end preferred the standard chassis, because I had a better front feeling. Tomorrow I will use the standard one. There is not a big difference it is a small modify, but I prefer the normal one,” said Rossi, at the track
“At the end it is a good day because this morning we were struggling more in the morning practice and we had some problem, but for the afternoon we modified the bike and the balance and we made a good step forward. In the practice in the afternoon I felt good with the bike and I was quite competitive.
“But we have a lot of work to do for sure as in Assen you need a good balance bike and to have good stability and good turning, especially in the fast part. At the end I think more or less everybody put in the soft because everybody is worried about the weather tomorrow and to stay in the top ten.
“With the softer tyre the bike worked well and we did a very good lap, but unfortunately at the end Iannone beat me, but I was competitive. We wait for tomorrow for good conditions and good weather.”
In the opening free practice session Rossi spent the time testing out the harder rear tyre compound, but he knows that the weather conditions will play a big factor in what tyres will be chosen over the course of the weekend.
Rossi added: “For the front I am quite sure the medium tyre of the three is the best one. For the rear I want to try and work on the harder rear tyre because the first impression with the softer is that it is too soft, but the door is open.
“Also depends on the conditions and the track improves very much from the beginning to the end because you put rubber on the ground so we need to understand if it rains or not. If it rains overnight it will clean (the track). I prefer 100 percent the dry and here in Assen the forecast is always very difficult and I so hope very much for a dry race.”