MotoGP Jerez test: Valentino Rossi beaten by Casey Stoner again

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Valentino Rossi said today’s BMW shootout in Jerez was another reminder of why Casey Stoner will start the 2008 MotoGP season next month as the red-hot favourite.

Stoner produced another brilliant performance at a wet and windy Jerez today to walk off with the keys to a BMW Z4 M Roadster in the 40-minute session, with Rossi over a second adrift in second place.

Rossi made his debut on Bridgestone’s wet weather tyres today and his best lap in the timed practice of 1.50.580 was 1.317s off Stoner’s blistering speed.

And the seven-times world champion said: “Casey is so strong in all conditions so today was no surprise, but just confirmation that he is going to be the man to beat. Today the conditions made things quite difficult so we didn’t have quite the day we hoped for!

“Anyway I’m quite happy with our performance in this weather; it’s the first time for me with the Bridgestone tyres in the wet and, although we can see that we have some more work to do with the set-up of our bike, we were not so slow.

“Of course we know we can be faster with more time, and so it would be good to have another chance in the rain tomorrow. The main problem is that we are lacking a bit of front grip and the balance of the bike is not at 100%, so I can’t enter the corner exactly how I want, but we will improve this.

“The first test in the dry with Bridgestone was quite hard but now, after three tests, things are good, so of course it’s going to be the same in the wet. At the end we came second today after just one morning, so I think we can be quite content with our day’s work.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt