Photos: 2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi

The Doctor aims for his 10th world championship

2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
Rossi came to the first Sepang test with a special helmet and immediately showed his intentions for the year with the second-quickest time of the day. "We worked a lot on trying to improve our pace with a used tire, but it’s already quite good. The bike is good and with the new tire we were able to attack and ride a good lap time."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
Rossi suffered from chattering issues while going for on the morning of the second day of the first Sepang test, but posted the sixth-quickest time of the day. "Valentino suffered from some chattering issues in the morning," said Massimo Meregalli, Team Director. "We were able to resolve this for the afternoon but possibly due to the track conditions we were then not able to make a step forward in lap-time."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
Rossi ended the first Sepang test with the fourth-quickest time, a time .3 seconds quicker than he had ever gone previously at the Sepang circuit. During the day he tested more parts for the M1 and also did a race simulation. "Today I’m more satisfied. It was a good day and we did a good job, especially because we tested everything and we decided what we have to use to continue the development. We tried some different parts for the bike, something good and something I didn’t like. My pace in the simulation was quite good so the test was positive."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
At the second Sepang test, Rossi tested the updated version of Yamaha's seamless gearbox, and posted the quickest time of the first day. “Everybody in our team was curious about the updated gearbox and the first impression is quite positive, so I’m happy. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s a small help in a difficult point where we need to improve. The bike is a bit better in braking and corner entry and I think we need to work to understand the maximal potential, but the first test was good."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
Rossi tested various parts on the second day, but stopped early in the day in order to save tires for the final day of the test. “We did a lot of testing today. We tried some forks and especially concentrated on rear grip in acceleration to exit from the corner in the best way. We also continued to work on the gearbox and that still gives a good feeling."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
On the final day of testing at Sepang, Rossi focused on setting a good lap time in the morning before focusing on setup and completing a race simulation. The Italian ended the day with the fifth-quickest time. “At the end it has been a positive test. I’m not very happy about my position and my lap time as I wasn't able to make a good lap, I always had traffic and didn't have the right moment to push. I think I could have been faster and in the top three. We continued to work with the gearbox and settings and we worked with the used tires, where we still have to improve with the new bike."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
“During the morning everything went well and lap times were good," said Massimo Meregalli. "When we started the race simulation in the afternoon the circuit conditions were much hotter and the bike behaved completely differently. As a result we were unable to find a pace we were happy with."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
At the Qatar test, Rossi had a technical issue that caused a crash on his third lap of the first day, which also resulted in the loss of one of his allotted three sets of tires for the day. Despite the setback, Rossi rounded out the day with the eighth-quickest time. "The feeling is quite good for the first day, the lap times are not so bad and it looks like this year’s battle will be very hard because all the bikes and the riders are very strong."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
Rossi continued to work on the setup of the M1, improving to fifth place in the standings on the second day of the Qatar test. “It was a difficult day for me, because we tried to work a lot on the setting of the bike to improve and to be faster, but we didn’t get the improvement we expected. I was in a difficult situation, but fortunately in the last hour we modified something. We did a step back and went a different way. The last part of the test was good, because I was fast with both the hard and the soft tire and I was able to improve my position."
2015 MotoGP Preview - Valentino Rossi
With rain disrupting testing on the final day in Qatar, there was no on-track activity and Rossi was unable to further test the new settings found the previous day. "However we can make a positive balance of these tests. The pre-season tests were positive. The bike has improved from last year and this is the most important thing. It will be a good season. There are many riders that will be fast and close. To stay ahead we must be 100%. The new gearbox will help us. It works well and this helps a lot in braking."

In preparation for the start of the 2015 MotoGP season, Sport Rider is taking a closer look at a few of the top riders from pre-season testing, plus a MotoGP rookie following in Casey Stoner’s footsteps.

Valentino Rossi is looking to add to his collection of seven MotoGP titles, after finishing second to Marc Marquez last year. Rossi and Yamaha have worked hard in the months leading up to the opening 2015 round in Qatar, with good results at all the preseason tests. Scroll through the gallery above to find out more details from each test and hear what The Doctor says of his chances for 2015.

Tomorrow we will look at Andrea Iannone's pre-season and how the Ducati rider's testing progressed.

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