After just a single day of testing at Sepang, Valentino Rossi was relatively effusive in his praise of the newly developed Desmosedici GP12. Lapping just 7/10ths of a second behind leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), Rossi immediately had the front-end feeling he has been missing since his switch to Ducati at the beginning of last year. Here is a quote from Rossi following Day 1 of testing. We will provide a follow-up report after testing concludes later this week.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th, 2:02.392 (43 laps)
“I’m happy because first impressions are important, and already in the first few laps, I could tell that I like the bike. Ducati did a good job in a just a short time. The bike is beautiful, but more importantly, it’s nice to ride. The riding position has improved a lot, and it’s better on braking and corner entry. I can brake like I want to and take the lines that I like, and I feel comfortable in general. I was able to ride well and not make mistakes, and there’s a reason for that. It means that the bike can be ridden. It’s more agile in change of direction, and it wheelies much less. We’re 7 tenths back today, and of course there’s still a lot of work to do before we can win. We have to improve in some areas: acceleration, electronics, power delivery and setup. I’d say we’ll be able to make a more accurate assessment at the end of the test, because let’s remember, the bike is just laps old. To leave here a second back from the top would be okay because anyway, we know that there’s still much more to be done. But one of the best things from today is that the bike reacts well to changes. That enabled us to drop one or two tenths every outing, which means further progress should be possible.”