Rossi content with new bike

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The Independent Online

Honda's four MotoGP riders completed their three-day test session at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia yesterday, with the world champion Valentino Rossi having most reason to celebrate.

The London-based Italian, who this year became only the second rider in history to win world titles in all three capacity classes, heads for the Christmas break confident in Honda's new 990cc RC211V. He said he is happy with changes made to the machine by Honda's race technicians since his first outing on the four-stroke at Jerez in Spain earlier this month.

"I am starting to understand how to set up the bike and I enjoy riding on this circuit. This bike is starting to be fun to ride. Now we have to work a lot to improve some points, but in general I am quite satisfied."

Rossi's fellow four-stroke rider Tohru Ukawa had a trouble-free day after crashing his new machine amid high winds at the seaside circuit on Thursday. "After three days of testing I am quite happy with the new bike," he said. "We tested a lot of different settings and parts. I did a lot of laps – over 90, which is the same as three GP races."