Valentino Rossi got off to the perfect start ahead of this weekends Australian Grand Prix leading the way almost from the start to the finish of the first practice session.

After two days of heavy rain the heavens cleared and provided a dry session at Phillip Island leaving the Fiat Yamaha rider with the perfect conditions to shake off the demons that haunted him in Portugal.

“Today we made a great start.” said Rossi, “We were concentrated and strong and I am really happy to start in front here at Phillip Island, which is somewhere that I love to ride.”

“We were able to get a lot done in the practice session and try many different things and I was able to ride just how I wanted to. We can definitely improve more – even though we already have a good pace we will continue to work tomorrow and try to find a little bit more, but for the first day I think we can be very happy about our work.”

Team manager Davide Brivo was happy with the outcome of the session, “We’ve made a good start and it looks like we have a good pace here. Now the target is to further improve our set-up to make sure we’re at the maximum. The weather has helped us today; it’s always good to have the first day in the dry. Of course now we hope that it stays like this so that we can continue our work tomorrow, but if not then we will be ready for the rain too.”

Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo had a mixed session after feeling ill for most of it before sliding off in the closing stages of the session.