MotoGP Jerez Test: Valentino Rossi makes Bridgestone debut
The Italian waited until shortly after midday before making his much-hyped debut on Bridgestone tyres, which followed his controversial split from rivals Michelin at the end of last season.
Rossi’s opening stint saw the 28-year-old complete seven laps with a best time of 1.42.577.
The seven-times world champion then pulled into the pits to be swamped in his Fiat Yamaha garage. At least 15 people surrounded the seven-times world champion, including Yamaha race boss Masao Furusawa and Tohru Ubukata, Bridgestone’s manager of Motorcycle Race Tyre Development.
Several other key Yamaha personnel huddled around Rossi to listen to his first impressions of Bridgestone rubber as he got to work with new tyre technician Peter Baumgartner.
Rossi has just exited the pitlane for his second run, though he is still using the 2007 factory YZR-M1 machine, with Yamaha not rolling out a new bike until January. He immediately dropped his best time to a 1.42.156, which was fifth quickest after just 12 laps.
Not surprisingly, world champion Casey Stoner is top of the early timesheets with a best of 1.40.932. It appears he is still riding his 2007 MotoGP world championship-winning factory GP7, before he begins to evaluate the new 2008 machine.
British rider James Toseland is currently 10th in the standings, posting a best of 1.43.120.
To find out more about the MotoGP Jerez test read next weeks MCN, out Wednesday 5th November.