9-time world champion Valentino Rossi has said things change quickly in MotoGP after a dismal beginning to the season, however there are “small smiles” after a top 12 in the Jerez test on Monday.

The current development in MotoGP at present meant that the race time that gave Rossi 17th in the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, would have put him on the podium last year. The winners’ overall race time has dropped by 17 seconds in one year, with Jack Miller almost breaking the 41-minute barrier at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rossi had to be content with yet another pointless result, finishing 17th despite doing the 25 lap distance faster than he did last year to place third. Speaking after the race, he said he did not understand why he can’t find the time the rest of the pack are finding, despite the few changes from year to year.

“We try the bike like last year, it is not exactly like last year but on paper it just had to be a bit better, but for some reason I suffered more. Also the tyres from last year are more or less the same but we are not able to find the same grip.”

“Also for us it is a question mark but it is true that in MotoGP everything changes very quickly from one year to the other. A lot of performance changes and everybody tries to make things better, but sometimes it is not possible.”

Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad for “The Doctor”, as he finished 12th in the in-season test at Jerez, completing 73 laps to finish only +0.821sec slower from Maverick Vinales, who topped the times. He was still the slowest Yamaha of the three that ran, but was less than a tenth behind teammate Franco Morbidelli.

“After the race and the whole weekend, my morale and the morale of my team was very low, because we have to try to be faster. Today things were a bit better. We sometimes had a small smile at some points,” Rossi said after the test.

“We finished the test with a good feeling because I am able to ride in a better way and I improved my pace a lot. Everything I tried today was a small step. And also Yamaha brought something that maybe is not very big, but anyway is a help for me, and I’m happy, because after the weekend we were quite down, because we were struggling. So we’ll see, but today the feeling is a lot better.”

“The end, it was good test.”

Rossi goes to France with only four points to his name after a disaster of a season, which sees him 21st in the title.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.