Misano MotoGP: Valentino Rossi content with fourth

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Valentino Rossi declared himself content with his fourth position at the end of first practice for his crucial home race in Misano.

Rossi is chasing a third successive victory at Misano and he thrilled his army of yellow-clad fans early in the session when he topped the timesheets.

The reigning world champion ended the session with the fourth quickest time, a 1.35.539 on his 30th and final lap moving him ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies.

The 31-year-old though would have been in contention with Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and compatriot Andrea Dovizioso less than 0.2s ahead of him.

But Rossi clearly has work to do with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa dominating the session with a best lap of 1.34.772 putting him a massive 0.767s clear of the nine-times world champion.

Rossi, who has scored only one podium since he returned from the broken right leg he suffered in Mugello earlier this season, said: “It was quite a good first practice.

"We improved the setting of the bike at the end and I was able to do some good lap times. We worked also with the tyres that is a big question mark between the soft and hard.

"We have to check but I feel quite good. Unfortunately this track is more demanding for my shoulder because there are two or three right braking points that give me some pain.

"But with this cooler temperature compared to Indianapolis it is easier. I’m only fourth so it is not a fantastic position but very close to Lorenzo and Dovizioso. Today the pace and the lap time of Pedrosa is quite impressive.”

Rossi also spoke about his hopes that Aussie crew chief Jerry Burgess will move to Ducati with him next season.

Burgess and Rossi’s loyal crew will quit Yamaha en masse to move to the Bologna factory in 2011.

Yamaha had requested Burgess and the crew inform factory management of their plans by the end of this weekend’s Misano clash.

But Burgess and Rossi’s crew will definitely be leaving and Rossi told MCN: “ For me it is very important they come with me. For me it would be positive and perfect if they come with me.

"It is a life choice, especially for Jerry. I give to him enough time to decide and we are not in a hurry. If he decides to stop unfortunately I can’t say anything because it is a life choice. When Jerry decides I am ready.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt