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GP Week : Issue 73
Enjoying just got easier. . . With the official F1TM Timing and Track Positioning Application Available from the iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. 2010 App on sale November 2009 Click here for more information Moto GP news >> Rossi lays down the gauntlet DEFENDING World Champion Valentino Rossi travels to the final round of tests at Qatar at the end of this week in a commanding position, having dominated the two previous rounds at testing in Malaysia. Rossi, pronouncing himself pleased with the electronic refinements to the evolutionary 2010 Yamaha M1, topped the time sheets in every session of the two Sepang outings; with Stoner consistently a close second by the end. There were few other surprises apart from the absence of the injured Lorenzo from the second round of tests. Another came from Nicky Hayden, who followed up a year of slow but steady improvement on the difficult Ducati by setting third-fastest time in the fastest final session, less than half a second down on team- mate Stoner: "Half a second is better than 1.5 seconds," commented Hayden, adding cautiously: "All I did was a couple of quick laps in a test." The Ducati has an all-new engine, but the other bikes are little changed, except in crucial details. Yamaha again looks strongest: the battle for fourth was between B- team companions Colin Edwards and new boy Ben Spies, with the older rider narrowly prevailing at the last gasp. The factory Hondas, adapting to new Öhlins suspension, ended up 1.2 seconds off the pace, behind even Capirossi's Suzuki, with "Dizzy" Dovizioso ahead of senior team- mate Pedrosa. Spies was significantly the fastest of the rookies, but Hiro Aoyama (Interwetten Honda), Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati) impressed, placing ninth, tenth and 13th respectively.