Rossi edging closer to the top

Valentino Rossi gains more time on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 at the second Sepang test

Valentino Rossi is slowly making positive progress with the Desmosedci GP11 breaking in to the top 10 at the end of the first day of testing.

Managing a time of 2:01.999 the new factory Ducati recruit, Rossi closed the day ninth quickest and closer to the leading time of Casey Stoner by one second. Comparing this to his performance at the previous test the Italian managed 02:01.842 on the third day on the Desmosedici GP11, the positives that the Italian has opened the second Sepang test with a smaller gap to the rivals.

Completing 53 laps in higher temperatures than the last time they visited the circuit Rossi concentrated on getting the ideal base setting on which his crew will work around in the future.

The seven-time champion's time also saw him positioned as the top Ducati rider in the time sheet, .6 quicker than Hector Barbera on the privateer Aspar machine and team-mate Nicky Hayden who finished 12th fastest.

“We can be satisfied with today as a first day, because we’re a second from the top, like we were at the end of the first test but without trying a late ‘time attack’ with the soft tyre like the others did," said Rossi, "For the most part today, I was between fifth and sixth place, which is the goal we had set."

The shoulder injury is still taking it's toll on Rossi, who believes that the pains are losing him around three tenths a lap: "I’m still stronger in the left turns, whereas I’m normally the opposite; the rest we’ll have to find by working on the bike."

"I’m also happy because we spent all our time on the hard tyres, which we struggled with before today. In the end, we chose one of the two setups that we had settled upon at the last test, and that will now be our base to work from, and the one on which we’ll concentrate our efforts in the next couple of days.” continued Rossi.

Repsol Honda continued their top form with three riders in the top five (Stoner 1st, Pedrosa 2nd, Dovizioso 5th), joined by reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo and Colin Edwards representing the privateers in fourth.