News 5 Feb 2010

MotoGP: Rossi quickest on day one of testing at Sepang

Rossi had a strong start to 2010 at Sepang.

Rossi had a strong start to 2010 at Sepang.

Fiat Yamaha’s eight-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was quickest during yesterday’s opening test of the 2010 season at Sepang in Malaysia.

Rossi set a best lap of 2:01.411 on the new M1 that was launched yesterday at the circuit, just under a second off the pace (2:00.518) which secured him pole position in the 2009 race.

“Today was very important because this year we have just six days of testing in which to set the bike, so we can not waste any time,” explained Rossi. “This first day was very positive, we tried the new bike for 2010, with a different chassis and a new engine, which can do more kilometres, and it is quite fast.

“Yamaha has worked very well over the winter. Now we need to spend time on setting some electronics and other things. This is only the start but it seems we’re already in good shape.”

Australian Casey Stoner was 0.491 in arrears of Rossi’s best to sit second fastest after day one. The Ducati Marlboro team are trying out new forks and two fairings – used in the final four races of 2009 – on the machine, which also has a redesigned engine according to the official MotoGP website.

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards was the third and final rider to make it under the 2:02 mark, with a best lap of 2’01.932, the Texan making an impressive start to the new year.

The first rider out on track for the day was Loris Capirossi, who emerged at 9.07am local time. The Italian clocked the fourth quickest lap of day one, as his 58 laps turned in a time of 2:02.102.

The official Suzuki team has three chassis to test for the veteran rider, while the new engine will be available at the next Sepang test at the end of February.

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo waited until the penultimate lap of his 57 turns to set his time of 2:02.165 as he also rode the new M1. The 2009 World Championship runner-up finished the day with a 0.754s gap to rival and teammate Rossi.

Repsol Honda are testing their new bike with slight modifications to the chassis which was used at the Valencia test. Their engine, modified for better endurance, and some new electronics are being given a run through by Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, who were sixth and eighth respectively on the timesheet.

The Italian was 0.465s behind Lorenzo, with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden in seventh at 2:02.792.

Mika Kallio’s first experience with the Desmosedici GP10 of the Pramac Racing team delivered a lap just under the 2:03 mark, as he completed 70 laps and was ninth on the sheet.

Of the rookies, Héctor Barberá topped the times on his Ducati of Team Aspar with a best lap of 2:03.030 to lap 10th overall for the date.

Rain at 4.30pm local time forced the riders off track, half an hour before the scheduled finish of the day’s activities, and action is scheduled to resume on Friday morning at 9am local time.

1. Rossi (Yamaha) 2:01.411 (54 laps)
2. Stoner (Ducati) 2:01.902 (42)
3. Edwards (Yamaha) 2:01.932 (48)
4. Capirossi (Suzuki) 2:02.102 (58)
5. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2:02.165 (57)
6. Dovizioso (Honda) 2:02.630 (51)
7. Hayden (Ducati) 2:02.792 (59)
8. Pedrosa (Honda) 2:02.866 (52)
9. Kallio (Pramac Racing – Ducati) 2:02.987 (70)
10. Barbera (Ducati) 2:03.030 (59)
11. Espargaro (Pramac Racing – Ducati) 2:03.133 (54)
12. Spies (Yamaha) 2:03.142 (55)
13. De Puniet (Honda) 2:03.456 (62)
14. Bautista (Suzuki) 2:03.558 (51)
15. Simoncelli (Honda) 2:03.563 (54)
16. Melandri (Honda) 2:03.609 (28)
17. Aoyama (Honda) 2:03.651 (66)