Weather ruins first day at Jerez

2007-02-24 00:24
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP endured a frustrating first day at the Official MotoGP Test in Spain, as heavy showers this morning meant that today's testing schedule was severely disrupted.

Chris Vermeulen managed to complete a number of wet laps in the morning, but as the track dried out it was too dangerous for either wet or dry tyres and he had to wait for the 4.4km Jerez track to dry out. He managed to get back on track later in the afternoon and set his quickest time during this session.

John Hopkins was present at the test and underwent further physiotherapy as he recovers from the heavy crash he had in Qatar last week. The Anglo-American racer will not participate at this test as he sets his target on being fit for the first round of the MotoGP season - also in Qatar - in two weeks time.

Kousuke Akiyoshi completed 55 laps today as he acquainted himself with the Spanish circuit. Suzuki's All-Japan Championship rider was appearing at Jerez for the first time as he prepares himself for his race debut here next month.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will have two further days of testing at Jerez, culminating with a 40-minute all-action timed session on Sunday afternoon where the rider with the quickest time will win a BMW car.

Chris Vermeulen:

"Yesterday there was a lot of rain here so we started today with a wet track and although it looked like it would dry up more heavy showers made sure that it didn't. It was pretty good to start with as I was able to get out and do some wet testing and we learnt quite a bit in the wet with both chassis settings and engine mapping. Then the track got too dry for wet testing and not dry enough to get some race tyres on. We sat out and waited till later this afternoon when the track dried out - which seemed to take ages - and some of the other guys started to go a bit quicker. I didn't feel like there was that much to be learnt as the track was still wet in places. So I kept it upright and just did a few laps to get the feel of the bike. Hopefully we'll have some good weather tomorrow so we can get a lot more done."

MotoGP Official Test Day One Classification:

1. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1'42.563: 2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.071: 3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +0.143: 4. Carlos Checa (Honda) +0.643: 5. Alex Barros (Ducati) +0.651: 12. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.489: 21. KOUSUKE AKIYOSHI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +4.628:

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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