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Rossi tops first night of Qatar test

Valentino Rossi stretched his unbeaten winter testing run to a fifth consecutive session as he beat Casey Stoner to the top spot at traditional Ducati stronghold Losail this evening

The battle between the two regular rivals came to the final ten minutes of the floodlit test before Rossi put in a 1m55.402s lap on his Yamaha to beat Stoner by 0.3s.

Yamaha had three bikes in the top four as Tech 3 duo Ben Spies and Colin Edwards claimed highly encouraging third and fourth places.

Jorge Lorenzo was seventh on the second factory Yamaha, only managing short runs due to the discomfort from his injured hand, but eventually completing 45 laps in total.

Top Honda rider was LCR's Randy de Puniet in fifth place, despite the Frenchman feeling unwell. Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa's works bikes were sixth and 10th, split by Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Mika Kallio (Pramac Ducati).

Both Suzukis were outside the top ten, with Loris Capirossi curtailing his programme due to illness.

Tomorrow night's test will be the final chance for teams to accumulate mileage prior to the season opener - also in Qatar - next month.

Pos  Rider             Team               Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha             1m55.402s            64
 2.  Casey Stoner      Ducati             1m55.717s  + 0.315s  48
 3.  Ben Spies         Tech 3 Yamaha      1m55.954s  + 0.552s  44
 4.  Colin Edwards     Tech 3 Yamaha      1m56.540s  + 1.138s  59
 5.  Randy De Puniet   LCR Honda          1m56.588s  + 1.186s  54
 6.  Andrea Dovizioso  Honda              1m56.811s  + 1.409s  65
 7.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha             1m56.838s  + 1.436s  45
 8.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati             1m56.855s  + 1.453s  77
 9.  Mika Kallio       Pramac Ducati      1m56.923s  + 1.521s  72
10.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda              1m57.047s  + 1.645s  60
11.  Loris Capirossi   Suzuki             1m57.099s  + 1.697s  40
12.  Marco Melandri    Gresini Honda      1m57.605s  + 2.203s  63
13.  Hector Barbera    Aspar Ducati       1m57.822s  + 2.420s  62
14.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Interwetten Honda  1m57.888s  + 2.486s  75
15.  Marco Simoncelli  Gresini Honda      1m57.891s  + 2.489s  63
16.  Aleix Espargaro   Pramac Ducati      1m57.898s  + 2.496s  67
17.  Alvaro Bautista   Suzuki             1m57.960s  + 2.558s  56

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