Valentino Rossi continues Sepang winter domination

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Having dominated the opening winter test session of 2010 in Sepang, Valentino Rossi picked up where he left off earlier this month to comfortably head the timesheets in Malaysia today.

The reigning world champion clocked a best of 2.01.068 on the 11th of his 47-lap stint today to finish 0.151s clear of Aussie rival Casey Stoner.

Stoner was second and the only rider to lap inside of 0.5s of Rossi with Andrea Dovizioso an impressive third on the factory Honda RC212V.

The Italian, who won last year’s British GP at Donington Park, clocked a best time of 2.01.631 as he tested new electronics and a new ride height for Repsol Honda.

Italian veteran Loris Capirossi was fourth quickest on the factory Suzuki GSV-R, the triple world champion continuing to work on a vast array of new parts including a new 2010 spec V4 engine and a revised swingarm.

He was just 0.156s faster than reigning World Superbike champion Ben Spies, who was again in impressive form to finish fifth in his 52-lap stint.

The Texan posted a best time of 2.01.843 to shave close to 0.4s off his Sepang debut earlier this month.

He clocked three successive laps in the 2.01.8 bracket on Bridgestone tyres that had done race distance.

Fellow American Colin Edwards was sixth quickest after he lost the majority of the morning session to a glitch with new electronics supplied by Yamaha. He ended with a fastest time of 2.01.897.

Dani Pedrosa had a tough day as the Spaniard was down in seventh place and a massive 0.968s slower than Rossi.

His hopes of adapting to Ohlins suspension suffered a blow when he crashed out this afternoon.

Alvaro Bautista also suffered a slow speed crash at the first corner but he was in an encouraging ninth position with a best time of 2.02.078.

That was a major improvement on his Sepang appearance earlier this month when he was in last place.

His time today was 1.2s faster than he managed in early February.

Aleix Espargaro also escaped injury in a crash at turn four this afternoon.

Big surprise of the test was once again former world 250GP world champion Marco Simoncelli.

He’s arrived in MotoGP with a big reputation but was in last place today with a best time of 2.03.254.

That was a massive 0.719s away from the Randy de Puniet in 15th.

V Rossi  Fiat Yamaha 2:01.068
C. Stoner Marlboro Ducati 2:01.219
A. Dovizioso Repsol Honda 2:01.631
L. Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 2:01.687
B. Spies Yamaha Tech3 2:01.843
C. Edwards Yamaha Tech3 2:01.897
D. Pedrosa Repsol Honda 2:02.036
M. Kallio Pramac Ducati 2:02.038
A. Bautista Rizla Suzuki 2.02.078
M. Melandri San Carlo Honda 2:02.086
N. Hayden Marlboro Ducati 2:02.221
H. Aoyama Interwetten Honda  2:02.419
A. Espargaro Pramac Ducati 2:02.447
H. Barbera Aspar MotoGP team 2:02.485
R. De Puniet LRC Honda 2:02.535
M. Simoncelli San Carlo Honda  2:03.254

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt