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Rossi satisfied with early progress

Rossi satisfied with early progress

Rossi satisfied with early progress

Valentino Rossi moved a step closer to his aim of taking the MotoGP World Championship title with victory in the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix after taking provisional pole position on Friday afternoon. The Italian later expressed his satisfaction at his early progress and again outlined the important of ‘maximum concentration.

"I made a very good lap today, in the 1'30s, so I'm pleased to have that under my belt already," said Rossi. "This morning was important because we also went very well in the wet. Also, in the dry the bike feels good.

"This afternoon we did well with the qualifying tyres but we still have to improve our settings on the race tyres, especially in the longer corners. There is a lot of pressure this weekend. I need to transform that into positive energy.

"A lot of my pit crew are from Australia, so this is a significant race for them as well. We all need maximum concentration."

Rossi's team-mate Carlos Checa celebrated his 32nd birthday today but on-track traffic prevented him from a higher grid position than eleventh. "We had a good pace on race tyres but at the end of the session I met a lot of riders in the first section and lost too much time," said Checa.

"I could not get a good lap time because of that and when I tried again on the next lap the tyre was already past its best and I lost time at the final corner. It is also difficult for me on a qualifying rear tyre because it pushes the front more.

"But I know I can improve my time tomorrow and we have more time to work for qualifying to improve my starting position."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, QP1, Valentino Rossi

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