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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 07:51 GMT
Rossi pleased with progress
Valentino Rossi is testing in Sepang
Rossi is back riding after a three-month break
World champion Valentino Rossi is happy with the progress his new Yamaha team are making during testing in Malaysia.

The Italian, who has won the last three MotoGP titles, is working hard to get the bike up to speed.

Rossi clocked a best lap of two minutes 3.17 seconds on Sunday, just over half a second slower than his pole position time last season.

The three-times champion said: "I feel very, very happy. I had expected more problems with this bike."

The Italian added: "I'm very happy with what we have achieved at this stage.

"I had a good rhythm with the bike and all the changes we made helped us towards consistent lap times.

"The suspension settings are quite good now although we need to do more work with the engine."

Yamaha say they are delighted with their new rider.

"I have yet to meet a rider who is able to give such a complete analysis after just a short time on a bike," Masao Furusawa, Yamaha's chief of technology development, said on Monday.

"Even on the first day of the tests, Rossi was able to pinpoint several areas which need improving," Furusawa said.

But he said Yamaha would struggle to be fully competitive by the start of the season in South Africa on 18 April.

"Of course, in an ideal world, I would like more time," Furusawa said. "But we only have two and a half months before the season begins and I must get the bikes ready for all our racers before then."




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24 Jan 04  |  Motorbikes
Rossi hopes lifted
25 Dec 03  |  Motorbikes
Rossi 'will keep on winning'
12 Nov 03  |  Motorbikes
Boss dismisses Rossi's chances
24 Nov 03  |  Motorbikes

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