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Valentino Rossi in SBK: what happened in Portimao

Valentino Rossi in SBK: what happened in Portimao

The heart cannot command“He knows that very well Valentino Rossi, Who in recent days returned to one of his greatest loves, One for two wheels on the occasion of the two days Superbike test Organized by the Racing team in Portimão. To keep him company, as well as his children VR46 Academy, it could only be Yamahaa brand for which the driver from Tavolia has been an ambassador for years.

A post that, although widely advertised, did nothing but get people talking about it; To this was also addedThe noise Because there is context Marc Marquezthe arch rival of the nine-time world champion, on the same track.

Yamaha special for Valentino Rossi

In Portimao, Valentino Rossi took to the track on board a distinctive Yamaha bike. It was, in fact, Yamaha R1 Jeter Pro, one of the most extreme and exclusive models from Iwata. To give you an idea, just think that it is a very limited edition (there are only 25 examples), which can only be purchased at GYTR Pro Shops.

A movement that could have been observed already in 2023 in Misano, during National Cup: On that occasion he was the one driving it Niccolò Canepaable to record a time just 1.5 seconds slower than Alvaro Bautista's Superpole time.

From MotoGP to SBK: lots of well-known faces!

As expected, the nine-time world champion took part in testing for the production derivatives alongside other well-known faces from MotoGP and Superbike. In fact, they were also on the right track with him Francesco Bagnaia, Marco Pizzicchi, Franco Morbidelli, Enea Bastianini, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Luca Marini, Valentino's last teammate at Portimão. Added to them are the names of SBK World Champion Alvaro Bautista and Nicolo Bulega [fresco di promozione nel team Aruba SBK, ndr]Toprak Razcatoğlu [recentemente passato da Yamaha a BMW, ndr]Jonathan Rea [approdato in Yamaha dopo anni insieme a Kawasaki, ndr] E Remy Gardner.

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Also worth noting are the presence of other MotoGP racers: Alex H Marc Marquezon track in Portimao with two Ducati Panigale V4 S. A combined presence of the VR46 and the MM93, which has attracted the attention (and curiosity) of many enthusiasts and professionals, above all thanks to the intense rivalry between them in the past, which led to the controversial end of the 2015 season, which we are still talking about today.

Times as a former driver…but not much

After eight hours of testing on the Portuguese track, the schedule presented some big surprises. In fact, Valentino Rossi stopped the clock 1:44.703, just 1 inch and 7 slower than world champion Pico Bagnaia“First in its class” among motorcyclists with a time of 1:43.090. The Ducati rider was ahead of Luca Marini (1:43.351), Franco Morbidelli (1:43.429), Marco Pizzicchi (1:43.622), Enea Bastianini (1:43.664) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (1:43.740).

However, it is impossible to compare the performance of “The Doctor” with that of “The Doctor.” Marc Marquez: The Spaniard, unlike his MotoGP teammates, chose to ride on the track Without installing the transceiver on my Panigale V4 S, thus hiding the times recorded in Portimao. A strategic decision was also made by his brother Alex, who once again showed his desire to keep a low profile due to his debut in Qatar riding the Ducati of the Gresini team.

If compared to the times of the superbike riders, the gap is much larger: the latter, in fact, made laps almost 4 inches faster than their MotoGP colleagues. He shone above all else Nicolo Bulega [ex pilota della VR46 Academy, ndr], whose time of 1:39.913 was the only one able to clear the 1'40″ mark. The Ducati rider was ahead of Toprak Razcatlioglu (1:40.007), Jonathan Rea (1:40.061) and Remy Gardner (1:40.268); Current world champion Alvaro Bautista moved back, more than seven tenths (1:40.673) away from the day's leader and teammate.

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Important differences in performance, but they are also justified by tire choice. In fact, in Portimão, MotoGP riders (and Valentino Rossi) rode the bike Michelin Energy Performance; However, the SBK cars had World Championship qualifying tires at their disposal, which undoubtedly guaranteed better performance.