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Looks to me Rossi is pacing himself and being consistent, he was just really smooth. Rossi has never been someone to want to pump in the fastest times on Friday/Saturday, he just wants to get the bike setup best for Sunday. You can go round there trying to push for fastest times all you like but it doesn't help the bike setup and it increases your chance of injury.
Since 2010 especially when Rossi had his first major injury (which just shows you how careful he's been) he has changed a lot, he seems to push a bit less and just ride within his comfort zone. We saw that at Ducati, he rode to what the Bike allowed him to, he never tried to push and push like Stoner. He was slower than Stoner, while some of that was down to Tech 3 becoming better than Ducati and Stoner in 2007 had the best engine and tyres. The other side was he was in his 30s and Stoner was in his early 20s and had the confidence of a young guy to learn and push the bike, where has Rossi is an old dog. We saw Stoner alwa