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Rossi rounds off Barcelona visit with impressive test times

Rossi rounds off Barcelona visit with impressive test times

After claiming 20 important points to maintain his general standings lead at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, Valentino Rossi left Barcelona after a successful test on Monday.

MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi and his Fiat Yamaha crew continued their work at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday afternoon, following up Sunday´s crucial second place finish in the Barcelona race with five hours of testing at the Montmelo track.

Although the five-time premier class World Champion is undoubtedly one of the greatest riders in the history of the sport, even he has certain weaknesses and is the first to admit that race starts are not his strongest point.

Having seen eventual race-winner Dani Pedrosa make an electric start from second on the grid on Sunday to take the holeshot and then build up a 0.658s lead by the end of the first lap, Rossi is keen not to let that happen again, having never really had the chance to challenge his Catalan rival during the race as the Honda rider sped away at the front.

Rossi fought back from ninth position on the grid to finish second on Sunday having had set-up problems earlier in the weekend so the test was an important opportunity to work on settings, race starts and qualifying tyres.

The Italian completed 61 test laps on Monday and set the second fastest time of the day, with a best lap of 1´41.857, well over half a second better than his Saturday qualifying effort.

At the end of the day Rossi told, `It was an important test because the race on Sunday was not so bad, but we have improvements to make, especially with the setting of the bike and with tyres. We need to decide on our tyre choices for the coming races and it was a good day because I was faster with race tyres and qualifying tyres, after struggling on Saturday.´

Looking ahead to the next two races `The Doctor´ commented, `Personally I like Donington and Assen, but we will have to wait and see what the weather is like at both tracks, because it can be very strange. I´m happy with the M1 which is fast and good to ride, but it is especially important for us to understand our Bridgestone tyres because when we arrive at Donington and Assen it is like going there for the first time for us.´

MotoGP, 2008, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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