Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 26 Feb 2015
Seven times MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi ended this week’s Sepang test fifth fastest but reckons he could have been at least third had it not been for traffic getting in his way.
The Italian set a fastest lap of 1’59.833 on the final day of testing to place fifth on the timesheet, 0.7 seconds off the pace set by reigning World Champion Marc Marquez.
“At the end it has been a positive test,” said Rossi. “I’m not very happy about my position and my lap time as I wasn't able to make a good lap, I always had traffic and didn't have the right moment to push. I think I could have been faster and in the top three.”
The three-day test marked an important step forward in the development of Yamaha’s YZR-M1 with both Rossi and teammate Jorge Lorenzo running a fully seamless gearbox for the first time. Previously the duo had only had seamless shifting when changing up the gears, putting them at a disadvantage to rivals with seamless downshifts such as Repsol Honda.
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“Everybody in our team was curious about the new gearbox and my first impression was quite positive” Rossi explained. “It's not a huge difference but it's a small help in a critical point where we needed to improve.
“The bike in braking and under braking is a bit better and I think that we have to work to understand the maximum potential but the first test was good.
“Now it will be very interesting to understand our level in another track as the balance between manufacturers can change there. I’m very curious about Qatar and how competitive we are for the first race.”
MotoGP will test at Qatar on 15-16 March before the season gets underway on 27th March.