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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Valentino Rossi surprised by new Yamaha 1000 pace

Valentino Rossi says the big surprise of yesterday’s Brno test was the performance of Yamaha’s new 1000cc MotoGP bike.

The YZR-M1 800cc replacement was fast immediately out of the crate with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo finishing just 0.085s behind Casey Stoner, who was making his second appearance on Honda’s 2012 1000cc bike.

Lorenzo completed 28-laps on the new bike to clock a best time of 1.56.253, which was nearly 0.5s faster than his qualifying pace on the 800cc Yamaha at the Czech Republic MotoGP round.

Ben Spies was also impressively fast on Yamaha’s 2012 contender, the Texan completing 24-laps to finish with a best time of 1.56.306. That was only 0.138s behind Stoner’s best pace of 1.56.168 on the Honda RC213V.

Rossi, who evaluated a range of geometry and weight distribution changes to his current GP11.1 machine with Ducati not testing its 1000cc GP12 in Brno, said he was impressed by the early speed of the Yamaha.

The 32-year-old told MCN: "For me the surprise is the Yamaha because it is very fast with Lorenzo and Spies from the first exit. When the bike has arrived it is ready and they are not so far from the Honda. It looks like they are closer than with the 800 in this track. I already know that Honda and Yamaha are competitive and now we have to arrive."

Rossi could be back on Ducati’s GP12 during a one-day test session immediately after his home race in Misano early next month, but he says he’s not concerned by the early pace shown by the new Honda and Yamaha.

He added: "Our engine is quite fast but the problem we have is more on the rest. It will be hard for sure because already the Honda and Yamaha is very fast, but we will try."

source: MCN

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