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MOTOGP NEWS 

Valentino Rossi buoyed by Ducati's wet weather pace in Spanish MotoGP practice

Valentino Rossi, Ducati, Jerez 2012Valentino Rossi said he 'felt good immediately' as he and Ducati prospered in mixed conditions during MotoGP practice at Jerez.

In contrast to an acrimonious opener in Qatar, Rossi said he and Ducati had enjoyed a far more harmonious start to the second round, and were able to commence the day with a good feeling from the outset.

The Italian said the GP12 also proved well suited to the adverse conditions and, rather than be hampered like the other frontrunners, was able to push the limit of the bike.

Last year's Spanish Grand Prix, held in similarly mixed conditions, was one of Rossi's strongest races, as he came through the field to challenge for the lead before colliding with Casey Stoner. Rossi was able to recover to fifth, while Stoner suffered his only retirement of the year.

"I felt good immediately today," Rossi said. "We worked on the setting a bit but because we had already started with a good feeling, I was able to immediately ride at the limit and do some good times.

"We go pretty well in the wet. We're happy to be second this afternoon because it confirms that the GP12 has the same good feeling in the wet that last year's bike did, and that's important.

"Now we have to wait to see what the weather does tomorrow, and especially on Sunday."

Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden also reported a good feeling in the wet, but said he had been careful to preserve tyres for the weekend.

"The bike felt decent in the wet, especially the geometry and turning, but it lacked some grip on the edge, which is where we're we'll focus tomorrow," he explained.

"If we had unlimited rain tyres, I probably would have gone out and had a look, but with rain forecast for the whole weekend, I didn't want to waste any. We did some laps in the afternoon and checked a couple things."

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