Valentino Rossi shrugged off a disappointing opening day to be consistently quick on day two of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island.
The Movistar Yamaha man had to settle for the sixth fastest lap time on Wednesday as he battled through the blustery and rainy conditions, but managed fourth overall on day two – just 0.273s behind surprise front runner Maverick Vinales for Suzuki.
More important than the time, however, was his relative comfort on his bike – a marked contrast from his feelings on day one.
“Yesterday I did just 7-8 laps, but the first impression was bad and I was a bit worried,” Rossi said. “But today, with good conditions, already from this morning I was able to go fast and have a good feeling.
“It is different to ride [with Michelins], but at the same time I like it. It is very funny. This is important.
“It was a good day from beginning to end. I always stayed [near the top]. At the end I am fourth, but the distance from first position is very close and also I didn’t put new tyres at the end. We will see tomorrow if we can improve. Also the good thing is that we always made progress, step-by-step. We improved quite a lot.”
Rossi said the fundamental difference in front-rear grip balance between the new Michelin tyres and the old Bridgestone ones was still in evidence, although it was offset by better grip in the rear.
“For me the front is still a little bit worse compared to Bridgestone but the rear is better. So on balance it is very similar. We are already on the lap time of race, so I think this is something that nobody expected. Sincerely. Especially the guys in the teams and also riders, but we are already at a good level.”