Rossi: The bike is good.
Valentino Rossi reminded his rivals just what his decision to remain on two wheels will mean to them, by leading both MotoGP practice sessions for his home Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on Friday.
Riding the Camel Yamaha for the first time since turning his back on Formula One and signing a new one-year deal with Yamaha, Rossi finished as the fastest rider in both sessions around the magnificent 3.259 circuit situated high in the Tuscan hills above Florence.
Rossi, who has won the premier-class race at Mugello for the last four years, set his fastest Friday lap of 1minute 51.238s in the dry morning session, with a heavy rain shower falling just before the afternoon outing began. The track then got steadily drier - before a further brief shower at the end of the hour - and the session ended with the same top three of Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau as the morning.
"We have had a good start to the weekend, especially this morning. Unfortunately the rain in the afternoon meant that we only got four good laps in but even in that short time we were able to see that the base setting of the bike is good," declared The Doctor, who only completed nine laps this afternoon.
"It is basically the same as the bike we had at Le Mans so I'm pleased to see it working well at such a different circuit. We still need to make some improvements to the setting but we are working in the right way and that is the most positive thing about today.
"We definitely need to work hard tomorrow but hopefully we can continue to improve. Now I just hope it doesn't rain, this is a very special race for all the Italians, both the riders and the people who come to watch, and we need the weather to be on our side!" he concluded.
Rossi finished day one 0.361secs clear of Capirossi with Gibernau a further 0.308secs behind.