Rossi amused by first Ducati crash

Valentino Rossi closes the first day of testing eighth quickest and seven tenths behind Pedrosa

Valentino Rossi demonstrated signs of improvement at the opening day of the Qatar night test - shrugging off his first crash on the Ducati Desmosedici.

Taking the positives from eighth position at the end of the first day, Rossi commented: "It wasn’t bad for a first day. I was able to ride the bike better, and I enjoyed myself. Although I was just eighth, my times aren’t too far from the top: seven tenths is still a big difference, but anyway it’s progress, considering that I did my best time with a very used tyre. We worked well on the settings, even if in a couple parts of the circuit I’m still not fast enough, and we’ll have to try some more solutions tomorrow.

Referring to his small crash at turn nine of Qatar, Rossi joked: "Today I also had my first crash on a Ducati, which I naturally did intentionally because after a while, you have to do a little fall…. All joking aside, I entered too quickly and lost the front: I was able to pick it up and avoid crashing while I was on the track, but I dropped it in the gravel—no big deal though."

On the nagging shoulder injury that has plagued the seven time champion over the past 12 months, he said: "As for the shoulder, I’m happy because I have a little more strength, and that enables me to ride better."