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Rossi chasing, Yamaha wraps up Austin test
13 March 2013
With just a few hours remaining before Yamaha brings an early end to its participation at the Austin MotoGP test, Valentino Rossi reflected on his debut at the new Circuit of the Americas.
The awesome Texan venue will host the second round of the championship in April, when Rossi will be aiming to put this week's experience to good use.
“The feeling with the track improved today, we started to work on the bike to improve the difficult points, especially in the three very hard braking areas where it is important to have good stability,” said the flamboyant Italian.
“It's also very important to have grip on the edge through the hairpin to have speed along the straight.
“It looks like you can make a big difference in the slow parts here. The chicane part in turn two is very technical and difficult as it is blind; you have to go a bit with memory,” he added.
“Step by step we improved a lot from yesterday but have some disadvantage compared to the other guys so we need to put all the sections together.”
As on day one, Rossi was fifth fastest by 3pm local time on Wednesday, behind Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda.
Rossi's fastest lap on the YZR-M1 was 2m 05.518s, one-second better than yesterday but 1.2s behind Marquez.
Seven time champion Rossi warned that the RCV riders look to have the advantage in several areas, especially acceleration - which will further increase pressure on Yamaha to join Honda and Ducati in producing a seamless shift gearbox.
“The target was to come here and try to understand the track and try to be ready for the race,” said Rossi.
“Our competitors are able to accelerate faster than us from the hairpin and they have a bit more grip on the edge compared to us so these are the areas where we have to work, in the flowing parts we are not so bad.”
As had been indicated yesterday, Yamaha has opted to skip the third and final day of the test.
Team director, Massimo Meregalli, explained: “First of all I would like to remark that it has been a good idea to come here. Yesterday we were able to download a lot of data from both riders; that has permitted us to find a much better set up.
“Today the results we got are quite promising and we are leaving Austin with a lot of useful data.
“The test here was organised by Honda to cover three days but we knew from the beginning that two days would be enough for us,” he added. “The target was to allow the rider to get used to the circuit and get as much data as possible for our Japanese engineers.”Update:
Rossi reduced his lap time to a 2m 4.960s by the close of day two testing, but remained in fifth place, 1.1s from fastest rider Marquez and 0.609s from Lorenzo (3rd).