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Rossi starts home weekend in good form

Rossi starts home weekend in good form

A late hot lap from Valentino Rossi made him Friday’s fastest rider at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Fiat Yamaha’s reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi begun his quest to repeat his 2008 Misano victory with Friday’s fastest FP1 time, ahead of his young Spanish team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi’s 1’35.304s lap at the end of the hour-long practice was not matched by any of his rivals, with Lorenzo coming closest as he lapped 0.126s behind the Italian. Lorenzo was second at Misano last season and he will need to beat his illustrious colleague if he wishes to keep up the pressure in the title race.

Repsol Honda pair Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were third and fifth respectively on the timesheet on their RC212V factory machines. Pedrosa trailed Rossi by 0.776s as the MotoGP big guns flexed their muscles on the opening day, though the Spaniard appeared to suffer a technical fault at the end of the practice and was taken back to his pit-box by a steward.

San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis continued his good rhythm from last weekend to lap fourth fastest overall, the San Marino rider still aiming to secure a ride for 2010. De Angelis recovered well from an inconsequential crash earlier in the session to mark his best time late on.

Also riding at his home track Dovizioso was around a second off the pace and will therefore aim to up the pace on Saturday, as his strives to challenge for the podium this weekend.

Also featuring in the Friday top ten were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Mika Kallio (Ducati Marlboro), Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), who all went round within 1.5s of Rossi’s best time.


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