The honeymoon period for Valentino Rossi and his new Petronas Yamaha MotoGP team was brief.

After dropping to 20th on the timesheets during the second day of the opening Qatar MotoGP test, the Italian star believes they need to go back to the drawing board and 'follow a different way' for the next and final pre-season test.

Part of Rossi's 1.768s gap to Factory Yamaha replacement Fabio Quartararo was due to missing out on a soft-tyre time attack. But jumping up a testing timesheet with new tyres is not his biggest concern.

"For sure the position is not fantastic and also my lap time is not fantastic, but today I don't feel very comfortable with the bike," Rossi said. "At the end of the day, unfortunately, I had some problem with the bike so I'm not able to make the time attack.

"If not, I can improve a bit, but anyway this is not the problem. The problem is that I was not fast enough. So now we need to check the data together with the team and try to follow a different way for the next test."

The 42-year-old, who had been 14th and 0.897s from the top on day one, added: "We're struggling a bit with the tyres, with the grip, and we tried some different things but in the end we didn't find a solution.

"We suffer especially in acceleration, because I don't have a lot of rear grip. We try to use the bike with the setting that we've tried in these two days, but now over the next two days [before the final test] we'll check the data and try to be ready and more competitive for the next test."

Perhaps most concerning was Rossi's impression of the new Factory-spec chassis, aimed at moving the inconsistent 2020 bike towards the agile turning character of the 2019 model, as used to great success by Rossi's A-Spec team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

"Today we continued to use both chassis, but my impression at the end of the two days is that [the new chassis] is very similar to last year's [Factory] bike," Rossi said. "It's not very similar to the '19 chassis. It's something between [the 2019 and 2020]. But when I ride, I feel very, very similar to the 2020."

Maverick Vinales (9th) surprisingly said that he hasn't worked with the new chassis yet, but pace setter Quartararo gave a similar assessment to Rossi:

"It is not yet the same feeling as the 2019 one, I hope it will come! We are working on it and I think it's really important because the chassis of the 2019 bike was just unbelievable," said the Frenchman.

"We want to take that direction, because that was the best compromise. We are going in that way with it, but the feeling is not yet the same. But we still have three days to improve our feeling and try to be as close as possible to the 2019 chassis."

Either way, Rossi hailed the speed shown by his M1 colleagues: "Today Quartararo and Maverick were very strong, also Franco (7th), so it was a good day for Yamaha."

The Doctor also got some laps with new Factory test rider Cal Crutchlow.

"Yes I did 2-3 laps with Cal at the beginning of the session, but it was not intentional," he said. "I speak with Cal. I also spoke with Silviano Galbusera that is his chief mechanic and they give a lot of interesting feedback.

"I think he rides fast, it's good and also it's interesting his ideas because he rode the Honda for a long time. So I think he can help us a lot."

One novelty of Rossi's position on the timesheet was that it put him behind brother Luca Marini for the first time in MotoGP.

"I spoke with him today. He was happy and his pace is not so bad. Already he rides quite well and he did a good step from yesterday. So it's a positive day for him," Rossi said.

The final Qatar pre-season test starts on Wednesday.

 

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