Rossi 'really needs to race' ahead of MotoGP opener

For Valentino Rossi it has been a long and frustrating winter...

For Valentino Rossi it has been a long and frustrating winter and the Movistar Yamaha rider is craving race action which starts this weekend in Qatar.

Rossi is confident there’s plenty of progress to be enjoyed with the factory YZR-M1 during elongated practice and qualifying sessions at the Losail International Circuit, with FP1 being held on Thursday night rather than its traditional Friday morning slot, and the Doctor is determined to be prepared for Sunday's opening race of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in the desert.

“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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