Valentino Rossi has declared himself a happy man following a second outing on Ducati's 1000cc contender for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at Mugello.
Conducting a third day of testing with the bike, after he and Nicky Hayden completed two days of mileage at Jerez last month, Rossi took the opportunity to assess the developments carried out by Ducati's test team, as well as sample Mugello's newly-laid tarmac.
With Filippo Preziosi, Franco Battiani and Vittoriano Guareschi having already completed two days of evaluation on the GP12, Rossi assumed the bike for day three, completing 60 laps of trouble-free mileage on the machine.
Though he insists the bike is still in an early development stage, Rossi is impressed with the progress that has been made since he last trialled the bike.
"I'm pleased, because it was a positive test,” he said. “We took full advantage of the time we had, because the track and weather conditions were perfect.
"We started around 11:00 and we completed sixty laps in all—many kilometres without any problems, either physical or with the GP12. We tested everything that Filippo had planned to try, and we're satisfied because, although we're still at a pretty early stage, we're going in the right direction.”
His first outing at Mugello since breaking his leg at the circuit last year, Rossi was also pleased with the new asphalt on the Italian circuit.
“I liked the new asphalt a lot,” he added. “The surface is smooth, those holes that I knew so well are now gone, and the grip is fantastic.
"I must say they've done a great job, because if it's possible, riding here at Mugello is now even better than before. I'm happy to have come back here to test after my injury last year, because it was a nice feeling and a good day.”