Valentino Rossi stayed on top as testing wrapped up at the Sepang circuit, asserting his strength

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    Valentino Rossi stayed on top as testing wrapped up at the Sepang circuit, asserting his strength

    Post by Ross on 6th February 2010, 04:28

    Rossi retains top spot in Malaysia

    Valentino Rossi remained on top on the final day of MotoGP's first pre-season test at Sepang.

    The first half of the session was interrupted by rain, with conditions not completely dry until lunchtime. But once the track was up to speed, Rossi lapped in 2m00.925s for Yamaha, beating nearest rival Casey Stoner (Ducati) by 0.4 seconds.

    "We worked on the new bike to find a better setting and I was happy to be the fastest overall - even though this is just testing this is important for me," Rossi said.

    "At the next test we will have a few more new things but we're already happy because we're fast and strong.

    "There is room to improve of course; Sepang is always a good track for the Yamaha so we will have to wait until Qatar to get a better understanding of our level, but we have made a great start."

    After a low-key Thursday, Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo moved up to third today.

    "I felt much better today and I was able to be fast straight away," said Lorenzo.

    "It wasn't a big problem yesterday, it's just that after such a long break I forget how to ride a little bit! I need a bit of time, but it was much better today."

    Yamaha filled four of the top seven places, with Tech 3 riders Ben Spies and Colin Edwards taking fifth and seventh. Factory Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were fourth and sixth.

    Nicky Hayden took eighth on the second works Ducati, while Aleix Espargaro was an impressive ninth for the satellite Pramac team.

    Following a strong performance yesterday, Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) slipped back to 10th today.

    The day's only accident was a high-side for Gresini Honda's rookie Marco Simoncelli halfway through the session. The Italian was unhurt and continued running later in the afternoon.

    The MotoGP field returns to Sepang in two weeks' time for the second test of this year's reduced pre-season schedule.

    1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m00.925s
    2. Casey Stoner Ducati 2m01.320s + 0.395s
    3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2m01.680s + 0.755s
    4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m01.822s + 0.897s
    5. Ben Spies Yamaha 2m02.266s + 1.341s
    6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 2m02.272s + 1.347s
    7. Colin Edwards Yamaha 2m02.479s + 1.554s
    8. Nicky Hayden Ducati 2m02.493s + 1.568s
    9. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 2m02.647s + 1.722s
    10. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 2m02.763s + 1.838s
    11. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 2m02.810s + 1.885s
    12. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 2m03.032s + 2.107s
    13. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 2m03.043s + 2.118s
    14. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 2m03.195s + 2.270s
    15. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 2m03.245s + 2.320s
    16. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 2m03.274s + 2.349s
    17. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 2m03.359s + 2.434s

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