MotoGP star Valentino Rossi admitted that he was impressed by Maverick Vinales' test day performance. After riding a Suzuki machine on last Sunday, Vinales made his Yamaha debut on Tuesday.
On both days of the test, Vinales topped the timesheets riding the 2016-spec Yamaha M1, while Rossi was more focused on the 2017 version. The young Spaniard was 0.020s faster than Rossi on Tuesday and set the fastest time of the test on Wednesday with a 1m29.975s.
After the test, the Italian said, "He was quite impressive already from yesterday, and today also more. He was able to do a 1m29s lap, that's a huge lap time. I think it was a great debut for him."
When asked about Rossi's experience on 2017 Yamaha M1, he said, "Today we worked more, we did a lot of laps - and it was good work. We compared a lot the new bike with the old bike, the new engine with the new chassis also together."
He added, "We have a lot of work [to do], for sure, especially about the engine, but also about the chassis. The first feeling is good, but we need something different in the setting, we need a little bit more time to understand the balance.
"We have to concentrate on the engine, the acceleration, try to have a good exit from the corner." The Italian was not happy with the 2017 engine on Tuesday.
"The feeling is very similar to Tuesday. It's just the first step but the first impression is [it's] not a huge improvement. We need to work," he concluded.