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One-two in practice pleases both Rossi and Lorenzo

One-two in practice pleases both Rossi and Lorenzo

The Fiat Yamaha duo occupied the top two spots in the opening practice session of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM, and both were highly satisfied with their opening-day feelings on their respective M1 prototypes.

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo picked up where they left off in the last round at Le Mans by starting the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM weekend as the top two riders, this time in the first practice as they prepare to continue their title battle in Sunday’s fourth round race.

Rossi, who won at Mugello for seven consecutive season from 2002 to 2008, took top spot on the timesheet with a fast lap of 1’49.751 as he displayed an immediate affinity with the circuit he dominated so strongly until last year’s third place. The defending World Champion was delighted to be riding once more in front of an adoring home crowd, and enjoyed the benefits of a very productive session.

"I am so happy to be back here in Mugello and we had a good first practice. We worked well, trying a lot of different settings as well as soft and hard Bridgestone tyres, and we are quite fast,” said Rossi.

The 31 year-old is still feeling some discomfort in his injured shoulder but the level of pain is not as severe as it was in France, and Rossi is hopeful that remains the case for the remainder of the weekend.

“I still have pain in my shoulder but it seems that this track isn't as bad and today I wasn't suffering like I did in Le Mans,” he said. “Of course we don't know how the shoulder will feel over the weekend but at this early stage I'm quite confident. The important thing is to work at 100% to find the right setting and make sure we're as fast as possible for Sunday."

Championship leader Lorenzo, who holds a nine-point advantage over Rossi going into Sunday’s race, was 0.369s further back on the timesheet and was feeling relaxed after a good session. The Spaniard felt he had established a good level on his M1 after the hour-long practice, and outlined his plans for Saturday.

"I'm happy about this session and I'm feeling quite good,” stated Lorenzo, who placed second in last year’s race. “It's always difficult to be fast straight away here, because you need many laps to understand the track with all its changes in direction, but after I had done some laps I improved a lot. Now we have to try to improve some things on the bike.”

A good Saturday afternoon qualifying session will be the key to challenging for a third straight win in 2010 believes Lorenzo.

“The most important thing is to get on the front row tomorrow and to do that we need to make some small changes. The weather is hot but it's okay, I'm fit, well prepared and have a good pace already,” he concluded.

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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