Valentino Rossi tried to make the best of the limited dry time available during day two of the second Sepang MotoGP test.

But the seven time MotoGP champion, entering his second season with Ducati, couldn't hide his disappointment at once again losing a large amount of vital test time to bad weather.

Rossi only made his debut on the final version of the factory's Desmosedici GP12, Ducati's first MotoGP bike to feature an aluminium frame, during the opening Sepang test earlier this month.

It was an encouraging start, but the Italian desperately needs dry laps to try and close the gap to the leading Hondas and Yamahas.

Unfortunately, rain has interrupted testing on both days of the second Sepang test, with just two hours of dry running on Wednesday.

Rossi finished seventh on the day two timesheets, despite the absence of all four Hondas. Rossi's best time from his 18 laps was 0.845sec slower than Yamaha's Ben Spies and he was also ranked behind fellow Desmosedici riders Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera.

Rossi explained: "Another day practically lost, which is really a shame because for us it's very important to ride as much as possible, and today's track conditions were much better than yesterday's.

"We tried to concentrate the work this morning because we knew there might be rain. Using both bikes, we tried the new traction control, some software updates for the wheelie control and a different position on the bike.

"All of those changes were positive, but when we tried to put everything together on one bike and go for a lap time with a good tyre it started to rain. So I think our potential is a little bit better than this.

"It is a pity because we need time and laps to understand and complete our programme. Weather like this is difficult, but there is nothing we can do about it."

Rossi isn't holding out much hope of a dry final day. "For tomorrow the forecast is the same," he said.

Rossi chose not to ride in the wet on Wednesday, having confirmed on Tuesday that the good feeling he had with the previous 800cc bike in the rain also applies to the new 1000cc machine.

Ducati is not planning any extra (private) tests with its race riders before the start of the new season, meaning Rossi now has four test days remaining - one at Sepang and then three at Jerez - before the opening round in Qatar on April 8.

Hayden, in fifth, was 0.463sec slower than Spies.


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