Rossi urges against more practice cuts

Valentino Rossi has urged the MotoGP rulemakers not to reduce practice time any further in 2010

Rossi urges against more practice cuts

As part of the championship's cost-cutting measures, Friday morning practice has been cancelled for 2009 and all other practice sessions and qualifying reduced to 45 minutes.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has already hinted that Friday running could be canned altogether next season, but Rossi said this year's compressed schedule would already make it hard for riders to finalise race set-ups.

"Now we have to wait until 10.30pm tomorrow to go onto the track and we have just the 45 minutes of free practice," he said. "We have a lot less work for the tyres, but we have to concentrate and try to be quick to set up the bike because the time is less.

"Now they're speaking a lot about 2010, but we have to wait a little bit to understand the economic situation for next year. I think now is the minimum amount of free practice. I hope for 2010 it doesn't change or get cut."

Rossi's Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio has already suggested that the previous levels of practice time should be restored as soon as the world economy recovers.

The reigning champion is in favour of the other major changes for 2009, such as the move to a single tyre supplier and the introduction of long-life engines from mid-summer.

"The engine rule is more a technical matter," said Rossi. "We hope to have an engine with more life but more or less the same performance.

"For sure last year, especially in the first part of the season, there were a lot of different results between Bridgestone and Michelin. Now everybody is on the same tyres and maybe the situation will be clearer and I hope it will provide more excitement for everybody."

He hopes the rule changes will improve MotoGP's spectacle, as Rossi is among those who believe the racing has suffered since the reduction in engine size at the start of 2007.

"It's an important season," he said. "I think we lost a lot of the show when we switched from 990cc to 800cc bikes and in the last year the races have been different compared with the old bikes."

But he said his personal motivation remained intact as he prepared for his 14th season at world championship level.

"My excitement at the first race is the same as in 1996," said Rossi. "When this feeling changes, it's time to stay at home."

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