As Luca Marini begins his MotoGP career in Qatar this weekend, the most obvious person to turn to for advice is older brother and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.

But Rossi is not the only source of family technical assistance for Marini who revealed that their mum, Stefania Palma, has also been in frequent contact with ideas about where he needs to improve.

"She’s very technical in every advice," Marini said on Saturday night. "She sent me a text message about something like braking or entry of the corner.

"She is checking also the live timing. Maybe also the sectors she told me where I have been losing more. She has a very big passion for this sport."

Rossi confirmed: "My mother is always very technical and always has interesting things to say. You can say she always has really another point of view!

"But we always enjoy, because with Luca we always make technical questions to her, and it's very funny to hear what she thinks.

"She's also right! She has a great experience because you imagine that she started to follow motorcycle races with Graziano [Valentino's father] 40 years ago, and after that Valentino, and after that Luca, so she has more experience than me!" laughed Valentino, starting his 26th grand prix season.

Rossi was 14th fastest (+0.897s) on his Petronas Yamaha debut, with Avintia Ducati's Marini 24th (+2.648s) out of the 29 riders during his first day on track with a full MotoGP field.

"Unfortunately, I haven't seen Luca on the track and he hasn't seen me. Here in MotoGP, it's always very difficult to organise a run together but for sure before the end of the test we will do some laps together," Rossi said.

 

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