Fresh from a pivotal fifth victory of the season on Sunday, handed to him on a plate when title rival Casey Stoner crashed out of a narrow race lead, Valentino Rossi was back in action alongside his MotoGP rivals for the start of a two-day test session at the Brno circuit on Monday.

The Fiat Yamaha star, now 50 points clear of Stoner at the top of the world championship standings, finished the day a distant second fastest to the Ducati rider, having set a best lap of 1min 57.332secs - a tenth slower than his best race lap and over one second slower than Stoner - during 28 laps of tyre and electronic development.

The main focus of the day was new Bridgestone rubber and Rossi worked through a range of both front and rear rubber, but he also tried some new electronics and mapping, which he will continue working with on Tuesday.

"It was a good day of testing today, after a great day of racing yesterday!" said Rossi's team manager Davide Brivio. "We have tested many different Bridgestone tyres, both front and rear, and we have collected a lot of information which will help us for the rest of the season.

"Then we worked on some new electronics and mapping but we need to continue with this tomorrow because we haven't finished the whole programme," he confirmed. "Tomorrow we also have some general set-up work to do, to try some things that we weren't able to check at the weekend, due to losing one day to rain.

"We hope that we will have another good day tomorrow, finish all of our planned work and then we will leave here in good shape for the final push."

The next event is Rossi's second home grand prix of the year, at Misano on August 31.


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