Motogp Test Sepang, Malaysia, Day two of three

2007-11-16 07:27
De Puniet the fastest Honda rider at Sepang - Hayden test the 2008 RC212V

The second day of the three-day MotoGP test at Sepang, Malaysia got off to a slow start as the rain drenched track surface did not begin to dry until late morning with the first riders taking to the track at noon.

Repsol Honda factory rider Nicky Hayden tested both his 2007 RC212V and the 2008 prototype RCV he will race next season. The American went out on the '07 machine to start his days work and was quickly setting times a second faster on the machine than his best time of yesterday.

Satisfied he had collected sufficient data for an
engine comparison test Hayden then switched to
the new machine. He worked on engine mapping as
the team worked hard collecting valuable data
necessary to upgrade engine performance in
preparation for the next MotoGP test at Jerez on
November 27-29. Hayden also tested a range of new front tyres for Michelin.

The 2006 world champion also had a close
encounter with a Cobra during the afternoon
session hitting the snake with his knee in the
fast T 11 corner. Hayden emerged unscathed from
their meeting and will test tomorrow - sadly the
snake will not be there to watch his progress aboard the new RCV.

LCR Honda rider Randy De Puniet was again the
fastest Honda rider at Sepang and slashed
eight-tenths of a second off his best lap time
set on the opening day. The Frenchman has adapted
quickly to the characteristics of the RC212V and
is clearly enjoying his new career at LCR.

He spent the majority of the day testing a range
of Michelin tyres in combination with the Ohlins
suspension the team will run in 2008. De Puniet
ran over 20 laps on the same set of tyres gaining
a feel for tyre performance over a long distance.
The test revealed more plus points than negative
with the tyre-suspension combination and the hard
working De Puniet ended the day in buoyant mood.

Andrea Dovizioso is beginning to get to grips
with the RC212V Honda 800cc four-stroke. The
young Italian continued to chase an ideal base
line set up for the JiR Scot Honda working on
improving his feeling for the Michelin tyres he
will race with for the first time in his career.
Dovizioso was out on track for 57 laps of the
5.542 km circuit consistently lapping in the 2m
03s bracket before putting in three very fast
laps in the 2m 02s bracket that saw him end the
day as fourth fastest man with a time of 2m
02.591s, over one second faster than his best time of yesterday.


Honda rider quotes and lap times.

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2m 03.093s - 65 laps.
"Overall I'm really pleased with today, it's been
very positive. We could have ended up with no
track time today after getting to the circuit and
having to wait three hours for the track to dry.
In the end it was a good day. I went out on the
2007 machine first to confirm a few things and
within a handful of laps I'd gone one second
faster that yesterday so that was pretty
encouraging. Then I devoted most of the afternoon
to the 2008 machine. We played around with the
engine mapping and tried some front tyre options
from Michelin. We're still looking for a bit more
power but it's not easy, the machine is brand new
so all the team is learning. After the Valencia
test last week we thought it might be a tough ask
to come to Sepang and do as well as we have today
- we thought we'd be further away, so to do the
lap time this afternoon and match the 2007
machine lap time is very positive. And I smoked
my first snake, the poor thing. I was just
heading through turn 11 when the snake sat up and
I saw it but I was committed on the apex of the
corner. I picked the machine up and tried to
avoid him but caught him with my knee. I'm pretty
sure it was a cobra and I'm sorry for it."

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 2m 02.550s - 81 laps.
"I am very tired, I did 81 laps all in the heat
of the afternoon. But it was positive, especially
the tyre testing with Michelin. I tried four
different rear race tyres and found one that was
very good, very consistent, with many laps
between 2'02.5 and 02.8. My best time today was
set using the latest Michelin tyre, 0.5s faster
than yesterday. Although this is just the first
day of testing the Ohlins suspension on the Honda
I have a good feeling and I'm we can find a
faster set-up. With Honda we also worked on the
engine mapping, to reduce the level of traction
control and improve the braking stability. I'm
very happy and the main thing is that over many
laps the Honda is physically easier and less
tiring to ride than my previous bike."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 2m 03.591s - 57
laps. "Another good day for us. Once more I spent
the day getting acquainted with the RC212V. We
are getting to know each other better, but it is
still difficult adjusting from the two-stroke
250. Engine braking is the big thing - you have
it on a four-stroke 800, but very little on a
two-stroke 250! This affects my entry into the
corners, although I still feel fast in the middle
of the corner. It will all come with time! The
team and I will look at the data tonight and see
where I can make up some more time and improve my
performance. The middle and exit of the corner is
still easier on the MotoGP bike than on a 250
thanks to the electronics. I've improved my
feeling from the front-end of the Honda after
some setting changes and after testing some new
Michelin tyres which is very important."

Source: Honda Pro Image

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