Valentino Rossi Fastest in Day 1 of Sepang Testing

The first test meeting of the year in the MotoGP championship finally started in Sepang, with Italian Valentino Rossi clearly the rider to beat on Thursday. Only hours after FIAT Yamaha presented their brand new MotoGP challenger for the 2010 championship in Malaysia, the Italian ace took the YZR-M1 to the track and broke the circuit's record by setting the best time of 2:01.411.

Actually, Rossi was only one of four drivers to drop under the circuit's initial lap record, previewing what will likely be another breathtaking season in the MotoGP series. The Yamaha rider ended the first day of testing almost half of second ahead of Ducati rival Casey Stoner, while Colin Edwards completed the podium in his Tech 3-prepared YZR-M1 some 3 more hundredths of a second behind.

Today was very important because this year we have just six days of testing in which to set the bike, so we can not waste any time. This first day was very positive, we tried the new bike and it is quite fast - Yamaha has worked very well over the winter. Now we need to spend time on setting some electronics and other things. This is only the start but it seems we're already in good shape,” said Rossi.

According to the official site of the MotoGP series, Stoner and Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden “tried out new forks and two fairings.”

Loris Capirossi completed the quad of aces at the end of the first day of Sepang test, despite Suzuki still not benefiting from their new engine for the 2010 season. It is believed the newly-spec powerplant will be fitted on his and his teammate Alvaro Bautista's Suzukis in late February.

Here are the complete timing reports of the Sepang Day 1 test:

01. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)                                2:01.411
02. Casey Stoner (Ducati)                                      2:01.902
03. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha)                      2:01.932
04. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)                                    2:02.102
05. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)                                  2:02.165
06. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)                                2:02.630
07. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)                                      2:02.792
08. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)                                      2:02.866
09. Mika Kallio (Pramac Ducati)                              2:02.987
10. Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati)                          2:03.030
11. Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Ducati)                      2:03.133
12. Ben Spies (Tech 3 Yamaha)                              2:03.142
13. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda)                          2:03.456
14. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki)                                    2:03.558
15. Marco Simoncelli (Gresini Honda)                     2:03.609
16. Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda)                        2:03.609
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda)                 2:03.651
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