The Italian edged out persistent rival Dani Pedrosa by just 0.018 to end his World Championship winning year on a high note, and is predicting closer battles to come with the move to a single-tire manufacturer for 2009.
“I think that the first tests with the new rule have been positive. It will be difficult for Bridgestone to decide which tires to use, but with everyone on the same rubber it will be possible to watch more fighting on track with everybody on the same level,” says Rossi, starting his second preseason with Bridgestone.
The 29-year-old was pleased with the developments, which will now be put together in Japan as the 2009 Yamaha M1 prototype is assembled for next February’s Sepang test.
“We had some different parts to test compared to yesterday, and their performance was not so bad,” says Rossi. “Closing the year at the top was important, but so was making sure that those new parts were good for when the bike is worked on over the winter.”