MotoGP Sepang test: Valentino Rossi explains first Bridgestone crash

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Valentino Rossi suffered his first crash with Bridgestone tyres today after a slow but spectacular crash as winter testing resumed in baking hot conditions in Sepang.

The seven-times world champion, making only his second appearance on Bridgestone rubber, crashed in fast change of direction between the first and second corner.

Rossi walked away from the crash unhurt and went onto post the sixth fastest time of the day as he also got a first chance to evaluate a new electronics package and engine fitted with pneumatic valves. The 28-year-old has one YZR-M1 equipped with the new pneumatic valve system, and his second bike fitted with conventional spring valves.

The Italian logged a best time of 2.02.490, but blamed himself for over confidence on the new Bridgestone rubber for his early tumble.

Rossi had left the pitlane with his new 2008 factory Yamaha YZR-M1 equipped with a new front and rear Bridgestone tyre when seconds later he was doing a spectacular summersault.

The 28-year-old told MCN: "The tyre wasn't up to temperature basically. I had a good feeling from cold tyres with Bridgestone but maybe too much. I did four or five runs with a used tyre, so I was used to pushing strong from the beginning. I put in a harder tyre and at the second corner when I flicked to go to the left I started to fly. I came through the first corner at only 70ks and I was quite slow but I was too aggressive in the change of direction.

"The rear moved and it was like a catapult. I am lucky because I was very relaxed so when the rear started to move I didn't remain with the hands on the handlebars, I just fly."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt