MotoGP

Valentino Rossi hopeful over modification breakthrough

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Seven-time Moto GP world champion Valentino Rossi believes he made a huge breakthrough in Wednesday's Aragon test, something that could spark a turnaround in what has so far been a difficult 2013 season.

Since taking second place in Qatar in his first race back at Yamaha, the 34-year-old Italian has struggled to make an impression, with qualifying proving particularly troublesome.

He has so far had to settle for a place on the third row at every race bar Jerez, where he started fifth. 

Rossi has yet to take another podium and is fifth in the overall standings, 63 points behind leader Dani Pedrosa and 56 down on team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. 

But set-up changes made in tests at both Barcelona and Aragon this week have prompted a more positive attitude from the former Ducati and Honda racer. 

"First of all we modified the setting a bit and also the front fork and now I feel more confident in breaking," said Ross to AutoSport. 

"I can brake deeper and stop the bike in a better way. For me this is the biggest improvement.

"After this we tried the swing arm like Jorge has it, a little bit more stiff which I like. We tried some other small things; at the end we made a good package that gives me a really good feeling, especially in braking.

"I'm so happy because until now I didn't have this feeling in braking, I am always in a bit of trouble."

Rossi is now eager to see if the gains he made at Aragon will translate onto the track. The next race takes place at Assen on the final weekend of June.

"I can't wait for Assen to understand if this is also improved at other tracks," he said.

"It is important for the qualification lap because you have to push more in braking.

"This result is especially important here in Aragon as this is not one of my best tracks. I have not made great races here yet but the pace and the lap times at the end make me very happy." 


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