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Night racing poses no problems for Rossi

Former champion Valentino Rossi has given his seal of approval to MotoGP's first night race after testing under floodlights for next week's Qatar season-opener

"There was a lot of curiosity about this night test and I have to say that I am quite satisfied," the Yamaha rider said in a team statement on Friday after the first day of testing at the Losail circuit.

"I think they have made a great job with the lights and you can ride quite normally, as if it's day. The visibility is quite good so there is no danger for us," the Italian added.

"It's really no more difficult than riding in the day. Maybe it would be better to move this night race to a period when the temperature is a little bit higher, however, because at the moment it's very cold here."

The March 9 race will be the first Grand Prix, two or four wheeled, to be held at night when it starts at 23:00 local (20:00GMT). Formula One will hold a night race in Singapore in September.

MotoGP organisers have said their race would be the biggest sporting event to be staged under floodlights with the area involved at Losail equivalent to 70 FIFA regulation soccer pitches, with 3,500 lighting units installed.

Ducati's Australian world champion Casey Stoner was fastest on the opening day, lapping 0.689 seconds quicker than Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha.

"It's definitely a lot different to what we're used to," Stoner told the MotoGP website. "It's not better or worse, just different.

"The most interesting thing is that with lower visibility, at least with regard to the imperfections on the track, you have to have more confidence than your instinct tells you to have. It's not a bad start though."

Rossi was only ninth fastest and said his bike was still missing some grip under acceleration, sliding when he opened the throttle.

"We know that this track doesn't have the best grip, but other riders are going faster, so we must do better," he said.

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