Edwards opens Sepang Test by topping timesheets

2007-02-05 10:00
Four teams and seven riders were on track today in Malaysia, for MotoGP's second visit to Sepang of 2007. The teams absent from last week's Australian excursion all continued their 800cc development in the customary humid conditions, in the first of three testing days.

Both Yamaha factory riders took the early initiative in Asia, with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi at the top of the timesheets. Edwards put in a lap of 2'02.175 on the latest version of the M1, edging out team-mate and five-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi by under 5 hundredths of a second. The Italian, who committed his future to the factory for the next two seasons last week, rode the fewest laps of any rider on day one, completing just 40 circuits.

Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet was the only other rider to break the 2'03 barrier, albeit over half a second slower than the two official Yamaha representatives. The Frenchman grafted hard on the opening day, and put in over twice as many laps as Rossi on the Ninja ZX-RR800.

As he continues to adapt to the Yamaha M1 with Dunlop tyres, a product of his switch this season from Luca Montiron's Michelin-shod Honda team, Makoto Tamada was fourth fastest, ahead of the French duo of Olivier Jacque and his fellow Yamaha Tech 3 rider Sylvain Guintoli. The Japanese rider already went quicker than at the opening test of the year in January.

Ilmor, making their first appearance outside of Europe, only bring rider Andrew Pitt to Sepang for this week's proceedings. His team-mate Jeremy McWilliams is still on the mend after surgery on his leg, and is expected to return to action for the Official Test in Qatar. Pitt put 49 laps worth of miles on the Ilmor GP bike's clock, adding to the small number he was able to undertake in Almeria last month.

MotoGP Test Sepang
Day One: Unofficial Times

1. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Racing 2'02.175 - 47 laps
2. Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Racing 2'02.221 - 40
3. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 2'02.966 - 85
4. Makoto Tamada - Yamaha Tech 3 2'03.219 - 68
5. Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki Racing 2'03.959 - 60
6. Sylvain Guintoli - Yamaha Tech 3 2'06.558 - 55
7. Andrew Pitt - Ilmor GP 2'08.640 - 49

Source: Dorna Communications

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