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GP Week : Issue 179
ROSSI TOPS THE TIMES AT FINAL JEREZ TESTS For the first time since he left Yamaha at the end of 2010, Valentino Rossi’s name topped the time sheets on the second of three days of testing at Jerez – the only dry day so far. Tests continue today (Monday), but Rossi was happy to take comfort, after running faster than the other factory bikes for the first time this year. “I am still working at adapting the bike,” he said, citing problems under braking and in corner entry. A streaming wet first day and only a few hours of dry time on the second meant that the times were far from the last word on the subject. His lead was slender, and the Yamahas were showing well. Lorenzo was significantly the fastest in the wet on day one, and now was second, a slender 0.015 of a second behind his returned team-mate. Cal Crutchlow was barely three hundredths of a second slower again. Dani Pedrosa was fourth, just over a tenth off Rossi’s time; while super-rookie Marc Marquez was for once not among the top gang, placed seventh, more than a second off pole. “You will see this at many tracks this year where I have no set-up information,” the super-rookie said. “On the first day I will still be learning everything.” Andrea Dovizioso was an encouraging fifth, just 0.797 off the leader, far better than at previous tests. But he too was cautious – there had not been much dry track time, and he was still troubled by understeer. Alvaro Bautista was sixth; second satellite Honda rider Stefan Bradl eighth, the pair sandwiching Marquez, and a couple of tenths ahead of the next two Ducatis, of Andrea Iannone and Nicky Hayden. “I’d hoped to be quicker,” said Hayden. His good news was that, just two weeks after surgery, his right wrist was holding up well. “Haven’t done any long runs yet and it’s a bit painful, but my fingers didn’t go numb. If that’s fixed, that’ll be good.” Bautista crashed, and later also Randy de Puniet, reducing his Aprilia CRT bike to expensive scrap but escaping serious injury. He was placed 16th, new Ducati rider Ben Spies 18th. All were hanging on the weather, hoping for a full dry third day after losing all of the first and much of the second to the wet. MOTOGP >>> NEWS 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: