AFTER the first test on the brand new Ducati Desmosedici GP12 Valentino Rossi has admitted that he is 'happy' with his first impressions of the bike.
Rossi and Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden made their debut on the new GP12 on the first day of testing at Sepang. Of the factory pair, Rossi was the closest the top of the timesheets finishing in fifth and 0.735 behind Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha (Click here for day one times and gallery).
“I’m happy because first impressions are important, and already in the first few laps, I could tell that I like the bike," said a pleased Rossi. "Ducati did a good job in just a short time. The bike is beautiful, but more importantly, it’s nice to ride.
"The riding position has improved a lot, and it’s better on braking and corner entry. I can brake like I want to and take the lines that I like, and I feel comfortable in general. I was able to ride well and not make mistakes, and there’s a reason for that. It means that the bike can be ridden. It’s more agile in change of direction, and it wheelies much less.
"We’re 7 tenths back today, and of course there’s still a lot of work to do before we can win. We have to improve in some areas: acceleration, electronics, power delivery and setup. I’d say we’ll be able to make a more accurate assessment at the end of the test, because let’s remember, the bike is just 40 days old.
"To leave here a second back from the top would be okay because anyway, we know that there’s still much more to be done. But one of the best things from today is that the bike reacts well to changes. That enabled us to drop one or two tenths every outing, which means further progress should be possible.”