Rossi: "Vinales immediately quick. I have to do better than him".

The big day has arrived for Yamaha in Madrid. At the Movistar HQ, the Japanese manufacturer is unveiling its new M1. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales are charged with powering this latest evolution, designed by the Japanese team, onto the highest step of the rostrum. And the same two riders are first onto the stage. They appear relaxed and there is none of the tension of one year ago.

Valentino speaks first, talking about his determination ahead of a season in which he hopes to be competitive. Seasons go by, but he reveals: “There is always some emotion, but I prepare for each championship in the same way, with commitment. It will definitely be a tough year”. On the other side of the garage he'll have a touch adversary in the shape of Vinales: “He's impressed me right from day one – said #46 - I'd hoped it would take him longer to be quick with the Yamaha, so I'll have to do better than him. We hope to do a good job, to improve the bike and aim for the podium every weekend”.

The latest tests in Malaysia have definitely got rid of any doubts Valentino had at Valencia: “At Sepang we completed many miles, and really saw the great potential  of the M1 – analyses #46 - now it's important to work well during the upcoming tests, so that we are ready when we reach Qatar”.

As ever, Valentino is not leaving anything to chance: “The work we have ahead of us is always the same – he continued - we need to focus on the tyres, the electronics, also the front, which gave us a few issues in 2016. The details are what make the difference”.

The aim can only be to achieve his tenth title, but the Doctor remains cautious: “Who can say? We need to completed strong races, staying focused. We need to be competitive every Sunday – he revealed – in Qatar we'll see both our potential and that of our rivals”.

Alongside him stands Maverick Vinales. The Spaniard impressed in his first test at the Ricardo Tormo track: “ I'm really motivated – says the Spaniard – I will definitely try to do my best, the bike made a really good impression, and is really fast”.

Maverick has proved to one of the standouts of recent years. The jump from Moto2 doesn't phase him, though he does comment: “It’s complicated mainly in terms of the electronics”. He too has a clear goal that he wants to achieve: “I know it will be difficult, but I want to compete for the title – he underlines – each year it gets increasingly tough, as the level of the championship gets higher”.

The Yamaha seems to be a perfect fit for him: “I can make the most of its acceleration, which is my strength– he concludes – the M1 clearly has great potential”.


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