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Water, electric complicate Rossi’s Sepang return

26 February 2013

A technical problem and then bad weather hampered Valentino Rossi's plans during the opening day of the second official 2013 MotoGP test at Sepang.

Rossi began the day with the same 2013 bike configuration he had used at the end of the opening test, but a technical problem forced him to revert back to the 2012 Yamaha while it was being fixed.

Afternoon rain then prevented Rossi returning with the new bike, which he will use exclusively from day two onwards, but the Italian was at least able to try some set-up changes which improved braking on the older model.

Rossi completed 25 Tuesday laps and finished the day fifth fastest, 0.448s from Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

“It's a bit boring today. It's a pity,” said Rossi. “This morning I had a problem with the new bike, so I used the old bike while the guys tried to fix the 2013 model. It was some kind of electric problem.

“I did 25 laps on one set of tyres just to try something with the setting to improve the braking and it was not so bad.

“But I decided to wait for this afternoon because I wanted to work on the new bike - from tomorrow I will have two of the new bikes - but unfortunately we just wasted our time because of the weather.

“Anyway it is just the first day, so it is a not a problem. We will try again tomorrow and if it's wet again we will also do some wet laps. We have enough time to finish our work and try to do a race simulation.”

Rossi, who had finished the first test 0.4s from pace setter Pedrosa, added: “The goal at this test is to try to make a smaller gap to the 'pole position' and understand my rhythm over 15-18 laps.”

The seven time MotoGP champion, returning to Yamaha after two tough seasons at Ducati, also spoke further about the changes he must make as a rider to push the latest M1 to its limit.

“Bridgestone, when it became the control tyre supplier, built tyres that provide a bit less edge grip. So you need to pick up the bike to use the acceleration,” he explained.

“The second thing is that with these type of electronics you have to open the throttle and trust the system a lot. These are the two big differences in riding style.

“I am still learning, but already at this test I feel better with the bike. I just need some kilometres to arrive at the very limit.”

Team-mate and reigning double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest, 0.235s from Pedrosa. Testing at Sepang continues for the next two days.