Rossi sets the pace in Italy practice

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The Independent Online

Valentino Rossi set the pace during the first practice in the run-up to Sunday's MotoGP race at Mugello in Italy. The Italian led a Fiat Yamaha one-two from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who leads the championship by nine points from Rossi after back-to-back wins in the last two rounds.

Rossi, racing with a shoulder injury, became the only man to dip under the one minute 50 second barrier as he posted a best time of 1min 49.751secs to finish 0.369secs up on his team-mate.

"I am so happy to be back here in Mugello," said Rossi, who has won nine times at the Tuscan circuit. "I still have pain in my shoulder but it seems that this track isn't as bad and I wasn't suffering like I did in Le Mans. Of course we don't know how the shoulder will feel over the weekend but at this early stage I'm feeling quite confident."