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Rossi reserves judgement

“They said half an hour but in the end it was two hours because it was difficult to get the pin out of the bone” – Valentino Rossi.

Valentino Rossi, the very first rider out on track for the start of the second MotoGP pre-season test at Sepang, missed out on the chance to draw any meaningful conclusions regarding the progress of the new Ducati GP12.

The Italian, fifth in the opening test of the year at the same track, finished up eighth on the rain-interrupted Tuesday timesheets, with a best lap time 1.484sec behind Honda's Casey Stoner.

"Today was not a fantastic day," said Rossi. "I started very early, but the track conditions were quite bad. Then when they got better I had already done 20 laps on the soft rear tyre and was sliding everywhere.

"We had kept the other rear tyre for the afternoon, but then it rained. So we didn't understand a lot today."

The rain storm lasted from 2-3pm, after which Rossi was one of the few riders to try some wet laps.

"The only positive was the work in the wet," he said. "I was able to do around 15 laps. The feeling is not so bad and lap time quite good, so we confirmed the good feeling of the old [800] Ducati in the wet.

"But to understand if we are working in a good way with the new bike we have to wait until tomorrow, when we will now have four tyres available."

Rossi was riding for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a titanium rod, inserted after his leg-breaking accident at Mugello in 2010.

"The leg is not so bad," he said. "On the bike I am quite fit. I have some pain on the knee because I have a big cut in the centre, but I'm close to 100%.

"I'm happy because it was a big surgery. They said half an hour but in the end it was two hours because it was difficult to get the pin out of the bone.

"I knew the rod was quite long, but not that long! 32 centimetres. It's big - and green! I had a big fight to keep it after the surgery, but now I have it in my house. I had one pin and four screws removed. To have them out of my body is a good thing."

Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden was the leading Ducati rider, being just over a tenth quicker for sixth. Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow separated the factory Desmosedici riders.

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