MotoGP Test Phillip Island, Australia, January 30, 2007

2007-01-30 08:47

MotoGP test Phillip Island, Australia. Opening
day of three-day test January 30, 2007.

Honda riders in confident mood on opening day of Phillip Island MotoGP test

The second three-day MotoGP test of 2007 got
underway at the superb Phillip Island grand prix
circuit in Australia today with the Honda RC212V
riders prominent on the rain curtailed first of the scheduled three-days.

The fast and flowing Australian track is a much
different proposition for the Honda riders than
the Sepang circuit, Malaysia venue for the
previous test, and they were eager to get to
grips with the 4.448 km island venue as they
strive to set up their RC212V 800cc four-cylinder
machines for the track following a positive test in Malaysia.

The Repsol Honda Team made a good start to the
three-day test with both riders improving on the
lap-times they set in the race here in September.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden got
good feed back from the chosen chassis settings
and the range of Michelin tyres he tried today in
a bid to confirm the consistency of performance
after successful tyre tests at Sepang, Malaysia last week.

Hayden, 25 from Owensboro Kentucky, confirmed the rapid progress of the RC212V
on its first outing at the Australian track by
setting a time of 1m 31.18s.This was 0.25s faster
than his 2006 best race lap of 1m 31.42s. Pedrosa
was also quickly up to speed, the 21-year-old
Spaniard shaving 0.14s from his fastest race lap
to set a time of 1m 31.29s today. The riders
calling it a day when the rain arrived at 15.00.

Gresini Honda rider Marco Melandri put in a fine
days work. The Italian tested the machine he will
use in the championship for the first time and
was the fastest RCV rider at Phillip Island
today. Melandri quickly established a good base
line setting before testing tyres for Michelin
and working on the engine electronic mapping. The
five-times MotoGP race winner, who won the 2006
Australian GP at Phillip Island set a lap time of
1m 30.75s, well inside his fastest lap of 1m
31.363s on the way to victory last October.

Melandri's team-mate, Spaniard Toni Elias chose
the calm methodical approach to his day in
pursuit of improved front end feed back. Elias
also worked hard with the Bridgestone engineers
trying to establish exactly which type of tyres
the Spaniard needs to suit his riding style aboard the RC212V.

Carlos Checa spent the majority of his
rain-curtailed day chasing improved chassis
settings for his LCR Honda before moving on to
testing front tyres for Michelin. At the end of
the day the Spaniard was, 'reasonably pleased with the way things were going.'

Team Roberts spent the day going through the
basic chassis set-up of the KR212V for the
Phillip Island track, working especially on front
geometry and linkage options. The team ran both
bikes today, which is something they were not
able to do in Sepang because they only had enough
of certain parts to run one bike in Malaysia.
They will continue set-up work tomorrow before
starting tyre testing with Michelin in the afternoon, weather permitting.

Konica Minolta rider Shinya Nakano was forced
to call a halt to his days work at 14.30. The
popular Japanese rider was laid low by a fever
and stomach pains. While he was running Nakano
tested variations to the geometry of his RCV in a
bid to find better feed back from the front
wheel. The team also experimented with the electronic engine mapping of the RCV

Honda rider quotes and lap times.

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 1m 31.18s - 81
laps. "We got in a pretty full day of testing
today, working mainly on settings and trying to
improve the bike geometry-wise. We were also
confirming some of the things I liked from the
test in Malaysia last week and checking they work
on a totally different track under totally
different conditions. The new 800cc bike is
pretty fun to ride here - in a few of these
corners you carry some serious speed. We realise
we've got some work still to do but the bike
feels a bit better here. We were cut short by the
rain but we dodged a bullet because it looked
like it could have rained a lot earlier. And we
got a lot of data today for the boys to analyse -
so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1m 31.29s - 78 laps.
"We had a good first day here with this bike and
the first impression is good. The day started
sunny so we were able to complete plenty of laps,
although it clouded over and the rain stopped us
towards the end of the afternoon. The track here
is very different to Sepang so we were able
compare the things we found at the test last week
and also work on the set-up for here because
lap-time is shorter and the circuit is more
flowing - it's less of a power circuit. Today was
useful and hopefully the weather will be good for the next two days."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 1m.30.75s - 67
laps. "I'm very happy of this first day of
testing. Today we focused on chassis and
suspensions in order to create a base. We found
the line quite soon starting from the setting of
the last test in Malaysia. I have a good feeling
with the front and I like the bike. We also
worked on the electronic of the engine.
Unfortunately, because of the rain, we couldn't
start working with Bridgestone, so we will focus
more tomorrow on tyre testing. I feel very well
and during this week I trained a lot with my
bicycle here in Phillip Island, despite the cold
temperatures and the heavy wind."

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 1m 32.0s - 76 laps.
"We still have a lot of work to do but I'm
confident because we are improving and we keep on
working with calm and method. I need to improve
my feeling with the front, we are working on it.
As for the tyres, Bridgestone is doing a great
job. We haven't at the moment the right tyre for
my riding style but the tyre technicians have
promised me that they will bring starting from
the test in Qatar or, at latest, in Jerez. I'm
confident, we are not too far from where we
should be. Moreover, Phillip Island has always been a demanding track for me."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 1m 31.80s - 73 laps.
"Basically today we've been adjusting the chassis
and suspension settings for this track. We also
started some front tyre testing with Michelin but
that was cut short by the rain so we'll continue
it tomorrow. This is a completely different track
to Sepang last week and the conditions are very
different too so we're getting used to this and
trying to understand the best way to go faster
safely. From today we have made some plans for
the next two days. It's the normal testing
procedure and we're reasonably please about how
it's going. I think we have plenty of potential
we just have to discover the best ways to unlock
it, and that's what we started here today."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 1m 31.90s. "We made
quite a big step by changing the machine after
lunch. We kinda put it upside down to try to get
the suspension working better with the bike and
we're starting to get on our way now. The changes
from the last day in Malaysia seemed to carry
over to here in terms of stability, though the
way in which the bike goes into the corners and
through the middle of the corners needs to be
improved. We used standard Michelins all day and
we have few more things to try tomorrow morning
then we'll get into some tyre testing. We're
looking ok - there's nothing too dramatic we need
to concentrate on - just getting the bike a little bit better."

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 1m 32.23s -
48 laps. "I started to run a slight fever the
night before the test and also began to get a
little bit of a stomach ache. Unfortunately both
of these symptoms carried on through to today and
worsened. Because of my condition, it was decided
with the team to reduce our programme of testing
for the day and let me recover and aim to be in
much better health for tomorrow. I think this was
best choice as we tested up to 2.30pm in
afternoon just 30 minutes before the rain hit, so
hopefully we've not lost much time. I'm going to
rest now for the rest of the day and hopefully
I'll be much better by tomorrow."

Unofficial lap times.

1. Alex Barros, D'Antin Ducati 1m 30.60s
2. Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 1m 30.75s.
3. Loris Capirossi, Ducati: 1m 30.78s.
4. Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 1m 31.18s.
5. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1m 31.29s.
6. Casey Stoner, Ducati: 1m 31.40s.
7. Alex Hofmann, D'Antin Ducati: 1m 31.50s.
8. Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 1m 31.80s.
9. John Hopkins, Rizla Suzuki: 1m 31.80s.
10. Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 1m 31.90s.
11. Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 1m 32.00s.
12. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki: 1m 32.00s.
13. Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 1m 32.23s.

Source: Honda Pro Image

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