Rossi rubs shoulders with Biaggi

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

The competition had their first good look at Valentino Rossi on Wednesday as several of the top MotoGP teams came together in Malaysia.

Rossi rubs shoulders with Biaggi

Sepang:

The competition had their first good look at Valentino Rossi on Wednesday as several of the top MotoGP teams came together in Malaysia. The multi-world champion was appearing in company for the first time since his controversial switch from Repsol Honda to Yamaha. On track with rivals Just to add a little spice to proceedings in Sepang, Rossi's old rival Max Biaggi was fastest in testing. Rossi may not be all-conquering the way he was with Repsol Honda - which could allow in one of the contenders. First and foremost among their number - his old adversary Max Biaggi. 'Mad' Max fastest 'Mad' Max was fastest in this sparring session in Sepang with a time of two minutes 2.693 seconds. Biaggi is with the Camel Pramac Pons Honda squad. Another Honda - Sete Gibernau's of the Telefonica Movistar team - was second fastest with Rossi third. To be fair, the times weren't necessarily the whole point in the teams appearing in Malaysia. Suzuki and Kawasaki are continuing development of their radically new looking GSV-R and Ninja ZX-RR machines with Bridgestone tyres. Gregorio Lavilla stepped in for the injured John Hopkins at Suzuki. Champions in contention British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne got his first chance to measure himself against the cream of world motorcycle racing in his third test with Aprilia. MotoGP veteran Alex Barros made his return to Honda on Wednesday - the first day of a packed test session just over a year since leaving for Yamaha. After months of contract wrangles, press speculation and the painful recovery process from a shoulder injury, the Brazilian was finally back in the fray. It was also be World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson and D'Antin Ducati team-mate Ruben Xaus' first major test alongside their new MotoGP rivals, riding the 2003 version of the Desmosedici. A busy time for Hodgson - on Tuesday, the Isle of Man-based rider visited Qatar and the circuit near Doha which will stage the first ever motorcycle grand prix in the Middle East on October 2. Work on the Losail International circuit is well advanced with the track having been 'Tarmaced' last week. (AP)

Topics : Formula 1
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