Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi has ended his first day's MotoGP test at Valencia third fastest and declared the new YZR-M1 definitely a step in the right direction.
The 2008 MotoGP World Champion, who will keep his race number 46 but wear a number one on his back as in previous seasons, has been concentrating on corner exit speed – and was pleasantly surprised by how good the new Bridgestone tyres are
“Today we began work on 2009 and I was able to try the new bike for the first time. It is only the first prototype but my impression of it is very good and it seems they have done a good job," said The Doctor.
"We are working on the engine in order to have more acceleration on the exit from the corner and there is a small change, not enough yet but in the right direction so this is important. We worked on the setting and the weight distribution and I was faster with the new bike so this is good!
"We need more time to understand the bike and more laps but this is only the first day and it is very positive. The other ‘big’ thing today of course is the new tyres and I am really happily surprised. This is not the best track to try them at as we don't have so much data for here but anyway they feel very good. I was expecting less grip but we had a lot and everyone was fast today.
"The track conditions are a lot better today than they have been during the weekend so this makes a difference, but anyway we can already see that they are quite good. I think Bridgestone have done a good job but of course it will be hard to know for sure until we have been to some different tracks. We have to wait and see. For me they feel good even in comparison with my Bridgestone tyres from all of the season so I am happy so far.
"I have a special ‘world champion’ helmet now which I like a lot and which I will use throughout the winter testing. As for the number one…I will keep my 46 of course but I will put the number one on my back as I did in the past.”
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