ROSSI FLOATS BACK TO THE TOP AT WET SHANGHAI Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi returned to the top of the MotoGP time sheets today as hard work during practice and testing following the last round at Istanbul began to bear fruit on the ...
ROSSI FLOATS BACK TO THE TOP AT WET SHANGHAI
Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi returned to the top of the MotoGP time sheets today as hard work during practice and testing following the last round at Istanbul began to bear fruit on the opening day of the Grand Prix of China. In soaking conditions caused by a steady downpour of fine rain throughout the day, Rossi repeated the form that saw him take a wet victory at the Shanghai circuit last season with the fastest times in both today's free practice sessions.
After setting the pace by just 0.002 seconds from Casey Stoner (Honda) in the morning, the Italian moved up a gear in the afternoon to improve his time by almost three seconds, holding off the challenge of Loris Capirossi (Ducati) by 0.355 seconds with an exemplary display of wet-weather riding. Meanwhile, his Camel Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards also reported improved feeling with his YZR-M1 machine following positive progress during the Turkish test session, although the American was struggled to turn that into outright pace this afternoon.
VALENTINO ROSSI (1st; 2'09.393, 36 laps)
"In Turkey we were able to understand some of the problems we were having with the bike and we found some good solutions. The modifications we made using that data here this morning were really good and now I can ride the bike at 100%. Even though it was wet the grip levels were very good, I was able to get a lot of lean angle in the corners and it was really good fun to ride as I want to. I'm really happy because I was fastest in both free practices today and this is a good sign for the weekend. The bike is working well in the wet but I think the solutions we have found for the setting will also work in the dry. Hopefully we will get the chance to find out tomorrow because the worst scenario would be to have another day of wet practice and then a dry race on Sunday."
COLIN EDWARDS (13th; 2'11.838, 24 laps)
"I'm reasonably happy with today. We did some good work on the setting of the bike but when we got it to where I wanted to push for a good time we had a minor setback with the tyre and I had to go for a different compound, which didn't quite work out. The main thing is that I'm comfortable with the bike and I'm confident I can go much quicker tomorrow whether it's wet or dry. We basically started out with the dry setting we found in Turkey and made small adaptations for the wet conditions here. We found a really good suspension solution at the end so now we just need to put the whole package together with the right tyres tomorrow and run with it."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"That was a very good session, especially after the problems we had in Istanbul. The engineers made some good steps with the setting and, thanks to their good work at the test in Turkey, Valentino was able to be fast again today. Watching him ride to the best of his ability is always very enjoyable and the situation here is clearly very different to what we found when it rained in Turkey. As far as Colin is concerned his lap time today does not reflect his true potential here. He has found a good setting and, although he couldn't finish the session off as he would have liked, there is a lot more to come from him. We have started off well at other races this year and not ended up with the right result so we have to make sure this good work continues right through until Sunday afternoon."