“Today the difference is 0.4s and I am happy. We hope to improve day by day. If I am second, third or fourth [on the timesheet] it is not a big deal.”
With rain blighting Rossi's comeback test for Yamaha at Valencia and Aragon last November, Tuesday marked Rossi's first real test on the 1000cc M1.
“The base set-up I started with was similar to Lorenzo, with some small modifications from past experience of the M1,” Rossi explained.
“So as an example, I usually use one rank harder front spring than Jorge. But at the end the settings are very similar.
“This morning I used the 2012 bike from Valencia. This afternoon I tried the same spec, but with a different engine. The 2013 modification.
“I only made short runs because the first day of the first test is the hardest physically. If you try too much today you have a bad feeling for the rest of the test. So I tried to save same energy.
“But I did a 2m 2.0s [matching the official race lap record] with 27 laps on the rear tyre - seven laps more than a race - so for me race distance is not a concern.”
Commenting on the challenge of taking on team-mate and reigning double champion Jorge Lorenzo, plus last year's title runner-up Pedrosa, the #46 said:
“For sure the level is so high and for me it is difficult because I have to try to beat Lorenzo and Pedrosa, who think are at the top of their career.
“I am older so I need to do more effort, but we are not so far.”
Rossi added that the performance of rookie Marc Marquez - third fastest behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo, with a lap time just 0.044s from the top - underlined his belief that the Moto2 champion can fight for victory from the very first race.