The Ducati Team rider was pleased with day one at the MotoGP Test in Qatar, despite a minor fall on his GP11. Team-mate Nicky Hayden was also in a optimistic mood after Sunday's session.
With the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship just around the corner, the Ducati MotoGP Team made steady development during the first half of a two-night pre-season Test at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, where temperatures were around 23°C and track circumstances decent. Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both completed the evening firmly inside the top ten, and they look onward to taking further steps on Monday.
Valentino Rossi, 8th, 1'57.038:
“It wasn’t terrible for a first day. I was able to ride the bike better, and I enjoyed myself. Although I was just eighth, my times aren’t too far from the top: seven tenths is still a big difference, but anyway it’s progress, bearing in mind that I did my best time with a very used tyre. We worked well on the settings, even if in a couple parts of the circuit I’m still not fast sufficient, and we’ll have to try some more solutions tomorrow. As for the shoulder, I’m happy because I have a little more strength, and that enables me to ride better. Today I also had my first crash on a Ducati, which I naturally did deliberately because after a while, you have to do a little fall… All joking aside, I entered too quickly and lost the front: I was able to pick it up and avoid deafening while I was on the track, but I dropped it in the gravel – no big deal though.”
Nicky Hayden, 9th, 1'57.137:
“Right out of the gate, it wasn’t too bad, and then we were up against a wall for a while. The team made one little change with ride height and I was able to get a polite lap time and get reliable. In parts of the track I felt pretty good, but there are spots where the navigation still needs to improve. If we can do better in those areas, we should be able to drop the lap time. I feel a little bit closer than Malaysia, but we certainly need to go earlier tomorrow.”