Home Boy Rossi Starts Quickly

Cycle News Staff | September 4, 2009

Valentino Rossi did his best to put his Indy GP crash behind him today, the Fiat Yamaha star ending up the quickest in the opening MotoGP practice  at his home track in Misano, Italy.Rossi didn’t lead the session until late when he took over from his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Then he upped the pace even more to set his best lap on his very last lap, turning in a 1:35.304.”This is more the weather for the beach than for the racetrack, today was unbelievably hot!” Rossi said. “The first session was much better than in Indy, though, and I am quite happy. We have made a few experiments with different settings and then at the end when we put everything together with the right tire. I was able to do three fast laps and finish first. It’s a good sign to be in this shape already on Friday and now we just have to improve a bit more tomorrow because it’s very important here to be on the front row. It’s quite a tricky track and you have to be quite careful in some places, but my bike felt good today.”Lorenzo held on to end up second, just .126 of a second behind Rossi and .650 of a second ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Fourth fastest was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis, the Italian staying on form after finishing a career best second in last weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. De Angelis did, however, suffer a crash during the session.Behind de Angelis was Pedrosa’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian just over a second off Rossi’s best.The first of the Americans was sixth and it was Colin Edwards on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. The Texan was 1.046 off Rossi’s lap and barely ahead of Marlboro Ducati’s Mika Kallio, the Finnish rider still filling in for the ailing Casey Stoner.Loris Capirossi put the first of the Rizla Suzukis in eighth, fractions ahead of Edwards’ teammate James Toseland. Then came Nicky Hayden in 10th, the newly signed Marlboro Ducati rider 1.3 seconds off Rossi’s best.

Friday Practice

1.                  Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:35.304

2.                  Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:35.430

3.                  Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:36.080

4.                  Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1:36.096

5.                  Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:36.316

6.                  Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:36.350

7.                  Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1:36.419

8.                  Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:36.508

9.                  James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:36.588

10.                  Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:36.608