Ending up 10th and behind two satellite Yamaha riders, satellite Ducati rider Hector Barbera on the GP12 Zero and and two satellite Honda riders including a rookie is not what Valentino Rossi expected in this final day of testing at Sepang.
Despite a small improvement the Ducati rider was still one full second slower than the Honda machines and despite set-up being slightly easier than last year, the Doctor is still unable to find that important step forward and shorten the gap that separates him from the Honda and Yamaha machines. and if he doesn’t find that something special at the next official test session at Jerez later this month, his 2012 season is going to be a repeat of last year’s, a nightmare, and there will be no excuses this time.
Valentino Rossi - 2:01.550 (57 laps)
“One small positive note to the day is that we reduced the gap to the front a little bit. It was 1.2 seconds, and now it’s 1 second. It’s also nice that the new electronics work well, but it hurts being down on the timesheets compared to all the others. We tried a bunch of things in order to take a step forward from the first test, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it and were actually worse. It was harder for me to ride well compared to three weeks ago, especially my corner speed. It’s true that this test was more difficult in terms of weather and track conditions, but it seemed to affect us more than the others. Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth. We were also unfortunate because at the best part of the day, when I did a 2:01.5 and we had some tyres to try to lower the time further, we had a problem with the fork that cost us some time. Maybe without that we would have cut another three or four tenths and been further up, but our pace is still about seven tenths back. Honestly, that’s not a huge amount, but anyway we’re still behind. We’re not pleased with how it went this time, but we have to try and work hard and see what happens at Jerez, where the track is very different than this one, with much different weather and temperatures. We’ll see how we do there.”