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All-round solid feeling for Rossi

All-round solid feeling for Rossi

The World Champion said he “felt very good” on his M1, both physically and in terms of bike set-up, after setting the fastest time in the opening practice for the Grand Prix of Japan.

Valentino Rossi admitted he was “surprised” to have set the quickest time in free practice at Motegi on Friday, having anticipated a particularly tough and demanding experience on his body. The Italian stated in the lead-up to the Grand Prix of Japan that he expected his recovering shoulder to continue causing him issues, but he did not appear to be held back as he topped the timesheet with an effort of 1’48.174.

"I'm really happy about today, it is honestly a big surprise for me to be first!” said the 31 year-old Fiat Yamaha rider. “I was expecting to suffer a lot here with my shoulder because there are so many hard braking areas but in fact they are all quite straight so I was happy to find I was okay.”

Rossi was also extremely pleased with the performance of a new evolution of the M1 engine which has been rolled out for this weekend. “In fact I felt very good on the bike right from the start and we have done a great job here with the setting,” he continued. “I used the new engine and Yamaha have done an excellent job on it, it is especially better in fourth and fifth gears and everything is working very well.”

The last time Rossi topped a session was the opening practice of the Mugello round in early June, when he was quickest in FP1.

“I know it's only Friday but it's a long time since I have been in front like this so I have to enjoy this sweet feeling!” he explained. “I know there's a chance of rain for the rest of the weekend, which is a pity, and if it is wet we will do our best.”

Rossi also extended his best wishes to Dani Pedrosa, who fractured his collarbone in a crash just five minutes into the session, adding: “I am sorry for Dani; I saw the crash from far off and it's bad luck.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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