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Morbidelli Quick Under Qatar Floodlights

Morbidelli Quick Under Qatar Floodlights

Second day at Losail ends with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli fourth and Valentino Rossi 20th.

Improved conditions greeted PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at Losail International Circuit today, for the second day of pre-season testing in Qatar. Franco Morbidelli, who enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the timesheets, ended the day fourth – whilst new team-mate Valentino Rossi was 20th.

Morbidelli immediately improved upon his lap time from yesterday when he got the second day of testing in Qatar underway, two hours into the allotted track time for the day. Throughout his 63 laps, Franco was able to test the rear-end settings on his YZR-M1 to find better stability, and also evaluated a modified holeshot device at the end of the session. After enjoying a brief spell at the top of the timesheets, Morbidelli ended the day fourth, 0.213secs shy of the quickest time, with a 1min 54.153secs lap.

Team-mate Rossi continued to compare his two Yamaha YZR-M1 chassis and also focused on improving rear grip. The new signing for the Malaysian squad was able to spend the entirety of the day on this, with winds calmer than they had been yesterday, and opted not to do a time attack. Rossi completed 50 laps, with his fastest time of 1min 55.708secs placing him 20th at the end of the session.

Morbidelli and Rossi will now have two days rest before the Qatar Test resumes with three more days of running, beginning on Wednesday 10 March at 2pm local time (7pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"I am happy with the job we’ve done today. Straight-away we had some good improvements on yesterday and then we just got better and better as the day went on. We went through some new elements that we needed to try, some of which I liked, and it was good to be able to go through them and have the chance to try them on my bike. Looking towards the final three days of testing, we will be looking to continue improving the overall package and then focusing on race pace, to understand some things ahead of the first two GPs here."

Valentino Rossi

"Today was not the best as I found that the grip levels were not what we wanted, so this was not great. We tried a few things, but we struggled a little with grip and acceleration on corner exit. Despite this we worked all day and we tried a new base setting. We will now check the data to help us find a better balance when the test resumes on Wednesday."