MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has shrugged off his early crash in the first day of the final pre-season test at Qatar.
Rossi bounced back to set the third fastest time, within half a second of teammate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
“I start in a bad way, after just 10 corners I crashed,” said Rossi. “Because I was not [riding] very fast, but maybe I made too much angle on the left and the rear slid, but fortunately it was a small slide at 70kph, so it was not a big problem – but not fantastic!
“We jumped on the other bike, and we were quite satisfied about today. It looks like here in Qatar our bike is competitive, we can be strong and fast – and this is the most important thing."
Focused on ‘hybrid’ bike
Rossi added that his Yamaha M1 – the specification of which the team has now decided upon – was strong straight out of the box, with just two more days of testing before the season opener at the same venue on March 20.
“We start from a good base setup, and I felt in a good way from the first moments and could ride quite fast,” he said. “I was able to improve always my laptime and ended in third place. A good day.
“Jorge was faster, but like in Phillip Island: me, Jorge and [Maverick] Vinales were strongest. [Marc] Marquez was also strong there, but today he was a little bit more slow."
Speaking of the specification of Yamaha’s so-called ‘hybrid’ 2015/16 bike which will be used this year, Rossi added: “After the first two tests, we continued with the bike more similar to last year. Now we have two race bikes already in race mode in the garage.”