Edwards and Rossi ahead once again at Official Test in Qatar

2007-02-14 08:49
The second day of the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar saw a continuation from yesterday, both regarding form and weather. Temperatures were still comfortable for the riders, the sun was still shining and the factory Yamaha 800cc bikes remained on top of the timesheets courtesy of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.

Edwards, yesterday's pacesetter on the Yamaha M1, was nearly half a second quicker than his best lap from day one, and also faster than team-mate Valentino Rossi's best race lap from the 2006 Grand Prix at Losail. The 'Texan Tornado' was using what he described as his 'second choice' front tyres, with the 16" Michelin sets that brought him such success in Sepang unavailable for the Qatar visit.

Fellow factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi once again followed hot on the heels of his American team-mate, just off Edwards' storming lap of 1'56.296. The five time World Champion is satisfied with the team's progress at this point in the preseason, commenting yesterday that they are in a much better position than this time last year.

The fastest Honda in Qatar today, 2006 Rookie Of The Year Dani Pedrosa was another rider to spearhead the development of Michelin's new front rubber, and clocked his quickest time towards the end of the afternoon session. The second RC212V in the top six was that of fellow Spaniard Carlos Checa, who put in the most laps of any rider as part of a race simulation.

Ducati's factory rider Casey Stoner, who took pole for last year's race, was closely followed by a resurgent John Hopkins, who is looking to regain some of Suzuki's pre-Phillip Island form when they were the early 800cc frontrunners.

Shinya Nakano and Randy de Puniet rounded off a top eight all within a second of fastest rider Edwards. De Puniet's progress was observed from trackside by Kawasaki team-mate Olivier Jacque, who sat out today's session as a precautionary measure following a light crash yesterday.

Kenny Roberts Jr and Marco Melandri were just ahead of World Champion Nicky Hayden, who suffered a small crash on the opening run-out at Losail. He was back on the bike immediately, eager to put in as many laps as possible on the new 800cc machine.

Joining Jacque on the sidelines today was Ilmor GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, who elected to rest his still tender leg after an intense return to action yesterday. The two should both be back in action tomorrow, to once again line up the entire 2007 MotoGP grid for the final day of the Official Test.

MotoGP Official Test: Qatar
Day Two Official Times

1. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Factory - 1'56.296
2. Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Factory - 1'56.537
3. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda - 1'56.712
4. Carlos Checa - LCR Honda - 1'56. 874
5. Casey Stoner - Ducati Marlboro - 1'57.040
6. John Hopkins - Rizla Suzuki - 1'57.065
7. Shinya Nakano - Konica Minolta Honda - 1'57.274
8. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing - 1'57.288
9. Kenny Roberts Jr - Team Roberts - 1'57.504
10. Marco Melandri - Gresini Honda - 1'57.591
11. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda - 1'57.629
12. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro - 1'57.698
13. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki - 1'57.770
14. Alex Hofmann - Pramac d'Antin Ducati - 1'57.999
15. Alex Barros - Pramac d'Antin Ducati - 1'58.513
16. Makoto Tamada - Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'58.610
17. Toni Elias - Gresini Honda - 1'58.990
18. Sylvain Guintoli - Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'59.138
19. Shinichi Ito - Ducati TTT - 1'59.617
20. Andrew Pitt - Ilmor GP - 2'02.453

Source: Dorna Communications

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