The following release is from Fiat Yamaha:

ROSSI SIGNS OFF FOR WINTER HOLIDAYS WITH FASTEST TIME IN JEREZ

World Champion Valentino Rossi set the fastest time in Jerez today on the final day of testing for the year. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was third fastest, making it a successful concluding test for the year’s leading team.

Rossi spent most of his time today on the new 2009-prototype M1, working on developing the setting and also trying out some new parts for the engine, amongst other things. He set his best time of the day on his 52nd of 54 laps, dipping nearly seven tenths of a second under the lap record with a time of 1’39.429.

The Italian and his team will now have two months to recover from a hard season while the MotoGP testing ban is in force. The next on-track action will be at Sepang in Malaysia on 5th, 6th and 7th February 2009.

Valentino Rossi, Position: 1st Time: 1'39.429 Laps: 54

“The track was a bit drier today and so we were able to improve even more and do a great job. We worked a lot on the new bike and tried some different parts to yesterday, including for the engine and we were quite fast. It seems we’re going in the right direction with this new bike and I am happy about this. I hope that the information we have gathered here will help the engineers to improve the bike and I look forward to the next evolution in Sepang. I think these first tests with the one-tyre rule have been quite positive and Bridgestone have done a good job so far, although for sure they will have a difficult job to decide which tyre for which track. Anyway, I hope that we will have some exciting battles next year with everyone at the same level with their tyres. Now I am looking forward to some holidays and next week I will go to Wales for the rally, which I hope will be a lot of fun. It’s been a fantastic year and I am really happy I have finished at the top today, it’s not a big thing but it gives a good feeling to me and all the team and means we can enjoy our holidays confident that we are in good shape!”

Team Manager Davide Brivio:

“This has been a positive test for us, and we have finished the year very well. Despite the cold weather allowing us just a few hours to test over these two days, we have been able to go through more or less our entire programme and check everything on the agenda. This means that we have given a lot of valuable information to our Japanese engineers, and this will help them in their development work over the winter. Valentino finished fastest today, which is a great conclusion to the year, and shows that we’re on the right track with the 2009-prototype M1. Now we have some time for rest and so I would like to thank all of the team once again for their hard work and wish them happy holidays!”

Test Times

1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'39.429

2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'39.447

3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'40.426

4. Toni Elias (SPA) Team San Carlo 1'40.448

5. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Team San Carlo 1'40.486

6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'40.486

7. Mika Kallio (FIN) Alice Team 1'40.564

8. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'40.604

9. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando 1'40.856

10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 1'40.966

11. Niccolò Canepa (ITA) Ducati Test 1'41.077

12. James Toseland (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'41.740

13. Vittoriano Guareschi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'42.906

14. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) JiR Team Scot Honda 1'42.918

AMA Pro Racing News

By Cycle News Staff

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