At Brno today Valentino Rossi had a positive session in free practice, finishing closer and within half a second of the fastest time set by Dani Pedrosa. With a best of 1:57.315 and only .457 off Pedrosa's 1:56.858 lap. But it's not just the time that is encouraging, it's the first time in a long while that Rossi has looked more like his old self on the Desmosedici.
"I’m happy because we went pretty well today, and in particular, the gap to the front makes us fairly optimistic," Rossi said after free practice.
"This is a beautiful track that I like a lot. It’s where I got my first win and my first world title, and we were also pretty strong here last year on the Ducati. Both of today’s sessions were good. We worked well, trying to find the best setup compromise for this circuit, and when we put on the soft tyre, we were finally able to improve the performance and to do a number of laps not too far from the leaders’ times.
"The pace is also decent. The riders ahead certainly still have some margin, so tomorrow, in addition to choosing which tyre to use in the race, we’ll have to try to improve a bit ourselves as well. At the moment, the soft is performing better, but we’ll see."