The madness which unfolded at yesterday's press conference heralded the return of Valentino Rossi into the paddock. Rossi's return to the track was, by comparison, relatively ordinary, or perhaps we had just forgotten what he standard level of hype and fascination Rossi generates any time he is at a racetrack.
After worming his way through a wall of photographers, all desperate to capture his first meters back on the Fiat Yamaha M1, Rossi rolled out onto the Sachsenring circuit, and quickly demonstrated that no, his return had not been too early. Rossi led the timesheets early, and spent most of the session in the top five, before slipping down the order to finish the day in 7th.
"I'm happy because I feel quite good on the bike. This is the most important thing," Rossi said after practice. He was helped by the track, Rossi explained: "It has a lot of left corners, so it's a good track to come back."