Rossi: It is a big surprise for me to be first!
1 October 2010 – Fiat Yamaha Team’s Valentino Rossi was delighted after finishing top in practice today at Motegi in Japan, especially as he thought it would be a tough weekend. Indeed the Italian expected to struggle with his injured shoulder, but he reported that he had no problems with it.
"I'm really happy” Rossi said. “It is honestly a big surprise for me to be first! I was expecting to suffer a lot here with my shoulder because there are so many hard braking areas but in fact they are all quite straight so I was happy to find I was okay.
“In fact I felt very good on the bike right from the start and we have done a great job here with the setting.
“I used the new engine and Yamaha have done an excellent job on it, it is especially better in fourth and fifth gears and everything is working very well. I know it's only Friday but it's a long time since I have been in front like this so I have to enjoy this sweet feeling!
“I know there's a chance of rain for the rest of the weekend, which is a pity, and if it is wet we will do our best.
“I am sorry for Dani [Pedrosa]; I saw the crash from far off and it is bad luck, I hope it is not too bad."
Rossi’s Team Manager Davide Brivio meanwhile was also happy: “It's been a while since we finished a session in first!" he added. "This was a really good practice for us because firstly it's nice to be in front but more importantly because Valentino was able to ride fast from the start.
“Our base setting worked very well here. We used the new upgraded engine for the first time and it is working well. We are in good shape and we hope to continue like this tomorrow."