Fastest on Friday at Jerez but struggling on Saturday, Valentino Rossi’s team made overnight changes before the warm-up which helped him to victory in Spain.
Having made a big step forward on Sunday at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España Valentino Rossi thanked his Fiat Yamaha crew for the changes they made to his bike, after qualifying, which helped him to his first win of 2009.
The MotoGP World Champion built on his two second places at Qatar and Japan with his Spanish success, to give himself an 11 point lead at the head of the standings after three races of his title-defence.
Rossi’s first appearance on the top step of the podium since winning at Malaysia in the penultimate round of 2008 came courtesy of some setting changes to his Yamaha M1 machine made by Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess and his staff – after Rossi complained of being uncomfortable with the wind at Jerez on Saturday as he qualified in fourth place.
The Italian star stated his intentions with the fastest time in the Sunday morning warm-up and he made the most of his set-up improvements once the race got underway as he hunted down early leader Dani Pedrosa for another classic victory.
1st – Valentino Rossi Speaks…
"The situation changed quite a lot from yesterday for us because I wasn’t confident with the bike on Saturday. So we modified the setting and we tried to recreate the feeling which I like on the corners and it worked well so I have to thank my team."
"To win here at Jerez is fantastic because it is a great place and a great Grand Prix. I am so happy because I am top of the championship but I know I am fighting against some very strong rivals who are very difficult riders to beat."
"Well we have changed quite a lot on the bike and it looks like things are a lot better." "I had this problem at the first two races and now we are much more competitive so I think we will continue like this."
When pressed as to what changes had been made Rossi kept his cards close to his chest, but did admit that they were significant alterations and have made a big difference to him as he rides – perhaps an ominous sign for his rivals as MotoGP approaches races at Le Mans, Mugello, Barcelona and Assen.