PETALING JAYA: Nine-time world champion rider Valentino Rossi settled in quick in the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) by producing his best ever Qatar lap in the 2021 MotoGP pre-season testing in Doha.
The Italian tested a new front fender, front fork and rear shock settings on his Yamaha bike, concluding the Thursday testing session at Losail International Circuit in eighth overall.
He posted his fastest time of 1:53.993 from the 52 laps completed.
Teammate Franco Morbidelli produced his fastest time of 1:53.323 from 62 laps to finish second overall while Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales of Spain was on top just 0.079 seconds in front with a time of 1:53.244.
Rossi said he felt positive ahead of the new season that will start in two weeks time at the same track.
“We found some new solutions and I did a good time. I made my personal best of my career here in Qatar because I’ve never made a 1:53 before, ” said Rossi.
“Everybody is very fast for sure but we improved on our position. I improved a lot on my race pace, so it’s a positive day.
“We tried some good parts from Yamaha, first of all the new chassis and with more kilometres, I’m able to use more of its potential, ” said Rossi, who switched to ride for the Malaysian team for the 2021 season.