Valentino Rossi is craving some race action this weekend in Qatar following a hectic winter testing programme.

The Movistar Yamaha rider says there is still progress to be made with the factory YZR-M1 during practice and qualifying at the Losail International Circuit but the nine-time world champion is confident he will be ready for Sunday's opening race of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship under the floodlights at the desert venue.

"I'm very happy that the season finally starts. It's been a busy winter, challenging, and now I really need to race," Rossi said.

"Our bike has improved a lot during the winter and, although we are not yet OK, we will work hard during the next few days in Qatar to be ready for the start of the first race of the season.

"We will see what the weather conditions will be like and then we will try to find the best set-up possible. I'm confident that together with the team we will be ready for Sunday."

Rossi finished fourth in Qatar last year and has an excellent record at Losail, winning in 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2015 and finishing as the runner-up in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014.



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