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Rossi reflects on good start in Japan

Rossi reflects on good start in Japan

Italian fastest in first practice session for Polini Grand Prix of Japan.

A late lap at Twin Ring Motegi meant two important things to reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi; firstly it put him at the top of the timesheet at the end of day one in Japan. More importantly, it ended chief rival Casey Stoner’s domination of free practice sessions since the start of the 2009 season.

Rossi had not previously tried out the new M1 at the Japanese track, having not tested there following his title triumph. The Italian was pleasantly surprised with his first outing, in which he clocked a quickest lap of 1'48.545, although he has one eye on the weather conditions that could bring about a sharp turnaround in fortunes for the MotoGP riders.

”This is a very good start because we’re at the top and this is very important,” emphasised the six-time MotoGP champion. The conditions today were hard and it was difficult to reach the limit and work to the maximum with the bike and tyres, but it looks like we have a good potential here so I am happy. It’s important to be in front, even though it’s only Friday, because in Qatar we were second, second, second in every session and really we don’t like second so much; for sure first is much better!”

Rossi had expressed concern about the predicted Saturday rain when questioned in the pre-practice press conference, but put a positive spin on the forecasts following the Friday run.

Tomorrow it seems it may rain but we haven’t had the chance to try the new Bridgestone rain tyres yet so I think that this could be an important chance for us to understand how they are. It will be interesting and I hope they are good! It looks like we need to improve our performance a little bit

“In 2008 we had two wet races; I won one and came second in the other. So I think that, even in the rain, we don’t have too much to worry about.”

MotoGP, 2009, POLINI GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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