Pedrosa fastest RC212V rider on second day of Losail MotoGP test

2007-02-14 13:47
Mild weather and a steady breeze greeted the
MotoGP riders as they took to the track on the
second day of the three-day test at Losail,
Qatar. The full compliment of teams contesting
the senior two-wheeled world championship tested
the latest technical developments to their 800cc
four-stroke machines as they endeavoured to
extract the maximum performance from both man and
machine in time for the opening race of the season.

Spaniard Dani Pedrosa was the fastest Honda man
on track today setting a lap time one second
faster than his best time of yesterday. Pedrosa
was fast from the off this morning and continued
to run at a consistently fast pace while putting
in 87 laps mainly testing tyres for Michelin with
chassis and suspension adjustments necessary to
his Repsol Honda to get the best out of the
variety of different tyres he tested.

Following a strong showing on the opening day of
the test World Champion Nicky Hayden experienced
a frustrating second day at Losail. The American
fell from his Repsol Honda RC212V twice today,
escaping unscathed on both occasions.

Hayden's first crash happened in the morning and
slowed the excellent progress made yesterday.
Back on track Hayden later ran into an engine
problem and his technicians were required to
change front forks from one RCV to the other
losing more time. To compound a miserable day for
the World Champion he suffered his second crash
of the day late in the afternoon. Despite his
misfortune Hayden retained his ever-positive
approach to testing and goes into the final day
determined to end the test on a high note.

Marco Melandri maintained his impressive
pre-season form with another solid day. With
Losail hosting the opening round of this years
MotoGP World Championship on March 10 Melandri
concentrated on preparing his RCV for the race.
The Gresini Honda team technicians have
established a good base set up for the RC212V and
it works well at the 5.380 km desert circuit.
This allowed Melandri to spend a large part of
his day tyre testing for Bridgestone. The Italian
tried several combinations with positive results
that he feels will serve him well when he returns to Losail to race.

Toni Elias on the second Gresini Honda has yet to
find the optimum type of Bridgestone tyre to suit
his all-action riding style. The Spaniard
improved on his lap time of yesterday and is
confident the cooperation between the technicians
at Bridgestone and his Gresini Honda pit crew
will have positive results and provide him with
the tyres he needs in time for the final MotoGP
test of the season, at Jerez on February 23 - 25.

Carlos Checa put in a gruelling 108 laps aboard
his LCR Honda today running at a constantly fast
pace. The vastly experienced Spaniard worked with
HRC engineers on the engine management system
before moving on to tyre testing. Checa has
worked diligently throughout winter testing and
almost ready to race but he will go into the last
pre-season test aiming to improve still further.

Konica Minolta Honda rider was delighted with his
day in Qatar, the Japanese star finding the
elusive corner speed he has lacked so far in his
brief Honda career. Nakano has struck up an
excellent working relationship with the Konica
Minolta technicians and the team grows in
confidence with each test and is beginning to
understand how to get the best out of the
Michelin tyres he will race with for the first
time in his career. Riding with greater
confidence Nakano shaved half a second off his best lap time of yesterday.

Team Roberts worked through a series of chassis
and suspension settings on the KR212V while
testing tyres for Michelin. Team rider Kenny
Roberts Jnr is pleased with the progress made
with the new chassis at Losail and goes into the
final day confident development is moving in the right direction.

Honda rider quotes and lap times.

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 1m 57.629s - 73
laps."Well really it wasn't the best day to be
honest. Yesterday went well but today wasn't so
smooth. In the morning session I had a small
crash and I also had an engine problem which
meant we had to take the forks I like from one
bike and put them on the other bike. At the end
of the day I tried to go out and finish off
strongly and had another crash which is a little
frustrating. We'll definitely try and sit down
with the team tonight and go through all of the
data to get things sorted for tomorrow - we'll be
looking to finish off with a strong day."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1m 56.712s - 87 laps
"Today we were able to improve things a little
bit more and it was a positive day. Basically
we've been testing tyres and settings for the
chassis and everything went quite well. At noon
it was very windy, but it didn't really interfere
and we could test a lot of stuff and get through
the programme we had in mind. The wind it was not
too much of a problem, and anyway, it's also good
because Qatar is normally very windy and we can
easily have these conditions at the first race here".

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 1m 57.59s - 76
laps "The team is doing a great job. I like the
bike, I have a good feeling when I'm riding.
Today we tested several tyres with Bridgestone
and we found some interesting solutions that can
be good in preparation for the race. I did my
fastest time with race tyres because at this
moment it is important for us to be ready for the
first round of the season. We still have to work hard but I'm confident".

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 1m 58.99s - 61 laps.
"We are struggling a bit because we still haven't
found the tyre that it's good for my riding style
and my characteristics. I'm confident because we
are working hard with the Bridgestone
technicians. We will get probably some new stuff
to test in Jerez for the next IRTA test session,
this would be very important for us "

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 1m 56.874s - 108 laps.
"I am quite satisfied about today's position. The
improvement we had show that we found the right
direction to go but we need to work hard on the
chassis and the engine. I gathered some important
data for the HRC engineers to improve the engine
performance. Then I tested different tyres trying
to do a race simulation but the conditions were
not suitable. Anyway the pace seems to be good
and constant and this is very important cause the
first race of the season is right here in a few weeks time".

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 1m 57.274s -
73 laps. "I'm very satisfied with this second day
of testing as finally I was fast, despite a
harmless crash! Most of the time today has been
dedicated to the important job of testing the
Michelin tyres. These are vital for the set-up of
the new Honda RC212V. Today, I found a good front
tyre and with this I was able to increase my
corner speed, which is important on this new
breed of 800cc machines. During tomorrow's final
day we will continue the job of tyre testing for
Michelin by aiming to find a good rear tyre to be
used as a reference point for the race which
takes place in less than four weeks time! In the
afternoon, if we have the time to do so, we have
scheduled a race simulation. I'm looking forward
to getting to know my new bike even more and
aiming to give the Team all the feedback and
information they need so we can improve still further."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: "We are running with
the latest chassis today mainly worked on
suspension and tyres and I feel we are moving in
the right direction. We struggled a bit when the
wind got up so we didn't run real fast times, the
same for everybody I guess. We stopped early when
we hit the engine mileage limit. Tomorrow we will
continue where we left off today, working on the basics."

MotoGP test Qatar. Day 2 unofficial lap times:

1. C. Edwards 1m 56.296s
2. V. Rossi 1m 56.537s
3. D. Pedrosa 1m 56.712s
4. C. Checa 1m 56.874s
5. C. Stoner 1m 57.040s
6. J. Hopkins 1m 57.065s
7. S. Nakano 1m 57.274s
8. R. De Puniet 1m 57.288s
9. K. Roberts 1m 57.504s
10. M. Melandri 1m 57.591s
11. N. Hayden 1m 57.629s
12. L. Capirossi 1m 57.698s
13. C. Vermeulen 1m 57.770s
14. A. Hoffman 1m 57.999s
15. A. Barros 1m 58.513s
16. M. Tamada 1m 58.610s
17. T. Elías 1m 58.990s
18. S. Guintoli 1m 59.138s
19. S. Itoh 1m 59.617s
20. A. Pitt 2m 02.453s

Source: Honda Pro Image

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