Valentino Rossi: My M1 feels great!

Rossi speaks after the final MotoGP pre-season test

The Fiat Yamaha Team riders concluded their pre-season preparation this evening (Friday) with another strong performance in the humid Qatar night, Valentino Rossi finishing second and Jorge Lorenzo sixth. This was the last time the riders will be on track before the first race, back at the same circuit in three weeks time.

Rossi concentrated largely on finalising his race preparation today, also finding time to try a new tyre compound for Bridgestone. The Italian completed 20 laps in a long run late in the evening with the aim of gathering more information for the race, which will help the team during the practice sessions when they return. He set his best time of the day earlier in the evening, slightly slower than his time from yesterday, and finally had to settle for second behind Casey Stoner. The Italian has been fastest on five out of six test days this year however and he and his crew are now looking forward with confidence to the first race.

Lorenzo continued to make progress and to push as hard as his injured hand would allow, the Spaniard managing to test some new electronic settings amongst other things and improve on his time from yesterday. He still felt some pain in the hard braking areas and needed to take a painkilling pill, but he was happy to finish sixth in the circumstances and is confident that he will be back to full strength in time for the race.

Valentino Rossi:

“This has been another good day. We've concentrated mostly on the race preparation and it feels like we're now ready for the first race. We did a long run at the end of the session and we got some good information, which will help us in the race. Now that testing is over I am very excited about the season. We've been strong throughout the six days of practice and it feels good to have been fast here also, where we have struggled in the past. We have only tested at two tracks so we need to wait for another different one to fully understand the new bike, but we're in good shape. My M1 feels great and I'm looking forward to racing!”

Jorge Lorenzo:

"Today my hand felt okay, maybe a bit worse than yesterday. Of course it's not as good as before the accident but this is to be expected! It's hard for me in the braking areas and I can't push any harder than I have been today at the moment, but I hope it will have improved a lot by the time of the first race. Our bike is great, Yamaha have done a fantastic job and you can see this from the strong performance of all the Yamaha riders. We've done a lot of work and tried many things, so I hope that these will help us when we come back here in three weeks. I will keep working to strengthen my hand and I hope to be in much better condition by then."