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Rossi finds speed and stability

Rossi finds speed and stability

Rossi finds speed and stability

Valentino Rossi was pleased with the progress being made his Yamaha YZR-M1 on the first day of tests at Phillip Island on Thursday despite seeing Honda's 2005 version RC211V again dominating the time sheets.

The reigning World Champion, who celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, ended the day second fastest to Sete Gibernau but insisted his team had taken important steps forward since he clinched the title here four months ago.

"Today was not so bad," reflected Rossi. "We arrived and straight away found some improvements compared to the bike we had during the October race. We've improved the stability and the engine is a little bit faster.

"We still have work to do on the settings to find a better front-end feeling, so we'll continue to look for this over the next two days of this test and see if we can make further improvements.

"We also tested some Michelin tyres today and we're confident that the bike is getting better. We're pleased with the work we've done on this first day."

Rossi's Gauloises Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards was simply happy to be out on a different track today, after three consecutive tests in Sepang since November. Edwards rode 78 laps with a quickest time of 1'31.15, the eighth fastest time of the day, and agreed with Rossi's positive assessment.

"The bike felt good today," said Edwards. "We've been playing around and experimenting with some settings, but the best one is probably the one we've already got.

"We weren't really trying too much for fast lap times today, but I'm happy enough with my time. We carried on testing tyres and we've collected some good data to work with. It's so good to be at a different track; it's like a breath of fresh air!"

Gauloises Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio added: "We've finally changed track and this is the first time we've been somewhere other than Sepang with the new bike. We've started well with both riders and done some good work for the first day.

"This afternoon it started to get a little bit windy, but the conditions have been mostly okay. It seems like we've got a good package and we hope to make some more progress over the next two days."

MotoGP, 2005, Valentino Rossi

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