MOTO GP SUPERSTAR Valentino Rossi says he is pleased after completing his first day of testing behind the wheel of a Ferrari F2008 at Catalunya.
Ferrari handed Rossi a two-day test as reward for clinching his sixth premier category motorcycle World Championship last season, his ninth overall.
The test, which is being conducted by Ferrari's Corse Clienti department, has been orchestrated as a personal gift to Rossi, with the Italian and the famed manufacturer immediately dismissing talk of a revival of his once-mooted switch to F1.
Despite spinning twice early on, Rossi soon got up to speed in the World Championship winning machine, posting a fastest lap time of 1m25.200 as he completed 68 laps of the Barcelona circuit.
"I'm happy," he said. "It was a good test, although it was wet in the morning and without grip I had some problems.
"Fortunately the track dried off in the afternoon, I could use the slicks and improve my lap times."
Former World Championship runner-up Felipe Massa will take over the reigns of the car on Friday as he continues his return from a sickening head injury sustained during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend last August.
Massa has already completed tests in an 2007-spec car at Mugello and Fiorano late last year in an attempt to determine whether he is physically capable of returning to the grid.
As with Rossi, the car will be fitted with GP2 tyres to conform to current testing regulations designed to minimise overall costs.
"As the car and the track were available I thought it would be helpful to go onto the track for a day to continue gaining confidence with the Formula 1," he said.
"After the days in Fiorano and Mugello this will be a nice opportunity to get back driving on such an interesting and challenging track."