Photography by Gold & Goose
Going into his home Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Valentino Rossi was hoping to get closer to the top three. He was also hopeful that Yamaha’s new seamless transmission would help him get there. Well, so far so good. Rossi ended today third – ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo – and close to the two factory Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi completed the morning session in fourth, just over half a second from the front, then stepped up the pace in the afternoon session, shaving just under quarter of a second off to finish in third – and just .258 seconds behind Marquez.

“It’s always special and a great feeling to ride here,” Rossi said. “Today was a good Friday for me, my performance was not so bad. This morning I was already quite fast, but especially this afternoon my pace was very good. I was fast from the beginning to the end of the practice and we are very close to the front. Yamaha has made a fantastic job with the gearbox; it is a great help for the riders. It’s not a big advantage with lap time, but the bike becomes a lot easier to ride, more stable in acceleration and less wheelie. You can concentrate more on riding, it is less demanding, so I think for the race it will be a big help.”

Rossi’s teammate Lorenzo also liked the new transmission, though he was struggling a bit to find the set-up that has led him to victory in the last two races at Misano. Still, he ended the day fourth and just .295 seconds from Marquez.

“We are having some problems to find the best set up on the bike because I felt a little bit worse than the last years here, but we are trying to improve it,” Lorenzo said. “The new gearbox is working well and I really like it. I’m confident we can go a little faster tomorrow.”

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