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Rossi happy after first night in Qatar

“The last run was particularly positive and my final lap time, done with a hard tyre that had 19 laps on it, was my best, a bit more than a tenth off of second place" - Valentino Rossi.
It may not be much to shout about, given Valentino Rossi's illustrious achievements, but fifth place and 0.727sec from the front during first practice for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP is his best performance to date for Ducati.

The seven time MotoGP champion hadn't been higher than eighth, or closer than 0.767sec to the front, throughout the ten days of winter testing – and was only 13th fastest at the end of pre-season testing at the same Losail track on Monday.

But the Italian made clear progress on Thursday and has the potential to fight for a debut Desmosedici podium on Sunday if he can continue the momentum.

“We're all pretty satisfied with this first free practice because we worked well throughout the entire session, progressively improving with each outing,” said Rossi, who won last year's Qatar race for Yamaha.

“We modified the setup a little compared to the test, and we immediately found it to be better, to the point that within just a few laps, I improved on my time from Monday.

“The last run was particularly positive and my final lap time, done with a hard tyre that had 19 laps on it, was my best, a bit more than a tenth off of second place. We know that if we want to have a good race on Sunday, we have to cut another five tenths, and we'll try to do that tomorrow.

“Anyway, although we still have to improve some more things on the bike, now I don't have to push so hard and it is turning better. The shoulder is holding up well. It was only at the end that it started to lose a little strength, and tomorrow we'll see how it reacts with two practice sessions. In any case, we're happy today.”

Team-mate Nicky Hayden started quite well, immediately matching his best time from the test, but couldn't improve further and was left in eleventh place.

“The session started out pretty well. I immediately went out with a hard rear tyre and a soft front, which isn't my favourite setup, and I was able to match my lap time from the test by the fourth lap,” said Hayden. “I felt quite good, but from there, I never really was able to improve much. Obviously everybody else got quicker, so I'm not thrilled with that time.”

The top Ducati on Thursday was Aspar's Hector Barbera, who made the most of a tow from Hayden to claim a shock third place.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Qatar MotoGP 2011
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Barbera, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Barbera, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Barbera, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Barbera, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Barbera, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Redding, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016

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mark - Unregistered

March 17, 2011 10:50 PM

They hate him when he's 13th, they hate him when he's 11th, they hate him when he's 7th and they hate him now he's 5th. If he's 4th, 3rd or 2nd tomorrow, they will still hate him. Guys, you bore me. Watch the show and keep quiet.

Nigel Tasker

March 18, 2011 2:41 PM

Casey, well I think he's a decent enough bloke, he's actualy earnt some big respect in my opinion, we can not deny in a single lap & he is damn consistent, he can get those bikes dialed in pretty damn quick & he is awesome on single lap pace i don't think there is anyone to touch him, not even my favourite, Rossi. I do however think that there are some Rossi haters who are going to be shocked, I have to laugh at the post's from these haters, it's obvious there is so much jealousy, it's not realy hatred, the same with people posting rubbish about Rossi fans, me being one of them, someone posting that it's not Rossi they hate it's his fans, can someone tell me how you can hate someone you don't know? I expect Rossi to be up the sharp end within 6 races, I just wonder if all the posters who has slated Rossi would have the nerve to come back here & admitt they was wrong.



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