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Friday, September 30, 2011

Eighth 'nothing fantastic' admits Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi admitted his lowly eighth place finish at the end of opening practice for the Twin Ring Motegi MotoGP race was 'nothing fantastic.'

The nine-times world champion clocked a best time of 1.47.975 in the second session but still finished 1.185s behind pacesetter Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda.

Making his second appearance on a new aluminium chassis concept designed in Bologna but built by British frame experts FTR, Rossi said he was losing 0.3s in each of the four sectors on the 2.983s miles circuit.

Rossi finished two places behind sixth placed team-mate Nicky Hayden, who continues to ride with the carbon fibre chassis on Ducati’s GP11.1.

And the Italian said: "Today was nothing fantastic although I was happier this afternoon when we improved the setting and the lap time, but we still have some problems to fix and also I’m behind Nicky, who made some good times.  This morning I went in 47 but in the last lap in the afternoon I lose time with (Kousuke) Akiyoshi and if not I could make two or three tenths faster.  But we are about one second behind the top guys and I have to try and stay closer tomorrow.

"This afternoon we made a change that gave better grip in the rear and I could ride better but we need morer feeling tomorrow.  The feeling is better than in Aragon and I have better grip. The new chassis gives me better feeling on braking and entry and the feeling here is like when I tried in Mugello. Unfortunately in Aragon it was big disaster because we never found good rear grip, we had a lot of spinning.  Here we modified the weight distribution with more on the front and this also gives me better acceleration, so I have better traction.  We hope to make the same step tomorrow."

source: MCN

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