The livery - inspired by Fiat's famous '500', which will be re-launched on 4th July, exactly 50 years after it was first launched in 1957 - features art and discography from that era, including Elvis Presley and Italy's Rita Pavone (see separate story).

But most importantly, the colourful pair finished the day fourth (Rossi) and seventh (Edwards) in the combined standings after a dry first day of practice at Assen.

"Today was not too bad! This morning was actually better than this afternoon, even though we were faster in the second session," revealed Rossi, who lapped just 0.32secs slower than MotoGP World Championship leader Casey Stoner. "Our initial base set-up this morning felt quite good but this afternoon we tested some different things and honestly I didn't have such a good feel. Our tyre choice seems to be okay and we have some softer tyres here which should work better in lower temperatures, as we should be able to get the heat into them faster. We've started out okay today but we need to improve some things so I really hope it's not going to rain tomorrow."

"I'm pretty happy with how we've started out here today," added Edwards, second from pole last weekend at Donington Park and within a corner of victory last year at Assen. "Michelin have brought some good stuff again and we've managed to get through all the things we needed to test for the weekend. At the moment it looks like we could actually race three of our tyre choices so that's a good situation to be in at this stage. Today we had my bikes set-up in two different ways and one was better than the other, so tomorrow we'll go with that for them both. It's actually pretty similar to last year's bike and that obviously worked good then so we'll keep going on like that. It was great to have two sessions uninterrupted by rain for once, fingers crossed we'll have more of the same tomorrow!"