Reigning six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi overcame the pain from stitches to his left hand and foot - and this low speed tumble - to finish the first day of 2009 testing in third position at Sepang on Thursday.
The Fiat Yamaha star fell through a glass table at home in Italy earlier this week while closing curtains, slicing his hand and foot, but with testing time more limited than ever following the single tyre rule the #46 was determined to put as much mileage as possible on the 2009 YZR-M1.
Rossi completed 31 laps with a best lap time of 2min 2.324sec, placing The Doctor 0.455sec behind fastest man Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) with 2007 world champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) in-between the two Italians.
“I am very happy because I was able to ride the bike today, despite the stitches in my hand and foot, and I was fast,” began Rossi. “I am not 100% because of the pain, but I have no problem to ride. I am also pleased because the engine is better and I feel very comfortable with the new chassis.
“We are adapting our way of testing to the new tyre rule and it is not so bad so far, even though we have more work to do. The bike needs to be gentler with the tyres now; normally I prefer harder tyres but from now on we're going to need to be 'sweeter' with them. For sure it will be good for the show, because everyone will be starting from the same level with tyres.
“This morning I had a small fall, when I was riding very slowly. It was not so wet, but some patches of the track are lacking grip and that one especially seemed to have none at all! I stopped quite early this afternoon because I wanted to keep myself in good shape for tomorrow and the day after.
“After some laps my finger was hurting and it was also beginning to swell up. Tomorrow we will try something new with the electronics and we will also have to change the engine, because the one I used today was the same one that we used at the Jerez test and its mileage is now over,” he added.
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was tenth fastest Lorenzo after his first day with the 2009 engine. The 21-year-old completed 61 laps with a best time of 2'03.894
“Today has been a difficult first day back at work!” admitted the 2008 rookie of the year. “My body is a little rusty after so much time off. In this condition it's quite difficult to be fast, but I am happy because the bike seems to be better, especially the engine. In Japan they have been able to improve the acceleration and with the new chassis as well the bike isn't moving so much on the exit of the corners.
“Unfortunately the circuit is not ok, because there are two corners with some problems and when you ride through them the bike is sliding too much, which is dangerous. This is why a couple of riders have had some crashes I think. I stopped quite early because I had already done a lot of laps and was very tired. Tonight I'm going to have a massage and try and get as much sleep as possible, and hopefully I will feel stronger tomorrow!”
To view testing pictures, including Rossi's fall, CLICK HERE