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Rossi fastest in testing again

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, Sepang testing 2010Valentino Rossi continued his domination of pre-season MotoGP testing by setting the fastest time in today's Sepang session.

The reigning champion has now been quickest on all three full-field test days held this winter. He topped the times with a 2m01.068s today, a tenth of a second shy of his best at the previous test three weeks ago.

But the competition was closer than it had been earlier in the month, with Ducati's Casey Stoner within 0.151 seconds of Rossi in second place today.

Andrea Dovizisio was half a second off the pace in third, but was four places and 0.4s ahead of his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who lost two hours of running after a fall at Turn 9.

Suzuki showed improved form with Loris Capirossi taking fourth and his rookie team-mate Alvaro Bautista ninth despite a crash early in the afternoon. The 250cc graduate was second-best among the newcomers, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Ben Spies a strong fifth, just ahead of his team-mate Colin Edwards.

Mika Kallio was eighth for Pramac Ducati, completing a session-high 76 laps, a tally equalled by LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet.

Marco Melandri filled the final top ten spot for Gresini Honda, ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden, who is not yet back to full fitness after recent arm surgery.

The only other rider to fall during the day was Pramac's Aleix Espargaro, who ended up 13th after a tumble at Turn 4.

With Jorge Lorenzo forced to sit out this test while he recovers from a hand injury sustained in a motocross crash, Yamaha gave factory test riders Norihiko Fujiwara and Wataru Yoshikawa another day of running to assist with development.

Although Ducati opted not to run in yesterday's test rider session, it has continued work in Europe as well, with Supersport rider and long-time 250cc man Franco Battaini testing for the Italian squad at Jerez this week.

Pos  Rider                Team               Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Valentino Rossi      Yamaha             2m01.068s            47
 2.  Casey Stoner         Ducati             2m01.219s  + 0.151s  33
 3.  Andrea Dovizioso     Honda              2m01.631s  + 0.563s  52
 4.  Loris Capirossi      Suzuki             2m01.687s  + 0.619s  52
 5.  Ben Spies            Tech 3 Yamaha      2m01.843s  + 0.775s  42
 6.  Colin Edwards        Tech 3 Yamaha      2m01.897s  + 0.829s  35
 7.  Dani Pedrosa         Honda              2m02.036s  + 0.968s  47
 8.  Mika Kallio          Pramac Ducati      2m02.038s  + 0.970s  76
 9.  Alvaro Bautista      Suzuki             2m02.078s  + 1.010s  34
10.  Marco Melandri       Gresini Honda      2m02.086s  + 1.018s  52
11.  Nicky Hayden         Ducati             2m02.221s  + 1.153s  61
12.  Hiroshi Aoyama       Interwetten Honda  2m02.419s  + 1.351s  57
13.  Aleix Espargaro      Pramac Ducati      2m02.447s  + 1.379s  35
14.  Hector Barbera       Aspar Ducati       2m02.485s  + 1.417s  62
15.  Randy de Puniet      LCR Honda          2m02.535s  + 1.467s  76
16.  Marco Simoncelli     Gresini Honda      2m03.254s  + 2.186s  53
17.  Norihiko Fujiwara    Yamaha             2m04.681s  + 3.613s  51
18.  Wataru Yoshikawa     Yamaha             2m04.967s  + 3.899s  43
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