Motogp Test Sepang, Malaysia, Final day

2007-11-17 07:11
Honda RC212V riders complete successful three-day MotoGP test at Sepang

The three Honda RC212V riders present at the Sepang, Malaysia MotoGP test ended a gruelling but positive three-day test satisfied with the progress they have made as they begin the arduous task of preparing their equipment for the 18 round MotoGP World Championship series in 2008.

In dry conditions with lower ambient temperatures than on the previous two-days it was Repsol Honda factory team rider Nicky Hayden who set the pace. Hayden, 26 from Owensboro, Kentucky took to the track on his 2007 machine for the final time running 22 laps before later testing with the 2008 prototype RC212V.

The 2006 MotoGP world champion fitted qualifying
tyres to his '07 RCV and scorched round the
5.542km track in a time of 2m 00.592s. His lap
time was a massive 1.3s under the pole potion
time set by his team-mate Dani Pedrosa for the Malaysian GP last month.

Hayden then turned his attention to development
work on the RC212V Honda he will campaign in the
2008 MotoGP World Championship. The team worked
on the engine mapping and electronics on the '08
machine and working with tyre supplier Michelin
testing a range of new race tyres.

LCR Honda rider Randy De Puniet has been in
stunning form on his Honda debut but the
Frenchman crashed his RC212V today badly bruising
his thumb. The crash came at T 7 a double right
hand corner at the back of the circuit when De
Puniet lost the front end. The data recorder
showed De Puniet was carrying the same speed as
the previous lap. The team technicians initial
feeling was that the crash was due to a
combination of a well used front tyre and a new
grippy rear that placed too much stress on the front of the bike.

De Puniet returned to the track after treatment
and continued working with his Ohlins suspension
and tyre testing for Michelin but he failed to
better his best lap time of the test he set yesterday.

Italian Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V)
continued his impressive form in his MotoGP debut
testing sessions again bettering his best lap
time for the second successive day. Base set up
work and further experiments with the engine
braking system of the RCV and tyre testing
occupied Dovizioso's time on the final day of
testing. He has developed an excellent
understanding with the Michelin engineers as
confirmed by his consistently improving lap times
this week. The MotoGP newcomer cut four-tenths of
a second off his previous best lap time at the test.

The final MotoGP test of the year will take place
at the Jerez circuit, in southern Spain on November 27 - 29.

Honda rider quotes and lap times.

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2m 00.592s - 85 laps.
"Overall we've had a good final day and it was
nice to set the fastest time. We wanted to check
a couple of details with the 2007 machine just
before we said goodbye to it. The bike really
worked well with the Michelin rear qualifying
tyre, plus the track has definitely been cleaner
at this test than at the race in October and the
temperature for that fast lap this morning was a
lot better than on the Saturday of the Grand Prix
when we qualified - which was about the hottest
day of the year here. Today we also worked
through a lot of stuff on the new 2008 machine,
mainly engine mapping, electronics and tyres
before we get to work on the chassis proper in
the up-coming tests. We always knew there was
hard work ahead starting out with a completely
new machine and I'm pleased we've been able to
get on with it in the last few days. I improved
constantly, which I'm pleased about, and we know
what we have to do now. The weather was kind to
us today and I had a snake-free day which was a
bonus! It's time to go home now and I'm
definitely looking forward to the break. I've
only been at home for four days in the past six
weeks and I've got my brother Tommy's wedding
coming up, along with Thanksgiving, so it will be nice to get back."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 2m 02.128s - 54
laps. "Today I rode for many laps and I must say
I'm more tired on a MotoGP machine than on a
250! Anyway in such hot and humid weather
conditions it's good training and I must get used
to this! I'm having more and more fun and this is
good as it means that my confidence with the
motorbike is increasing day by day. We still have
so much work to do in order to understand more
how to exploit our Honda to the fullest. I still
have to get used to the engine braking as well,
but I'm satisfied with these tests and I go back
home knowing that the team and I have done well."

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 2m 02.700s - 60 laps.
"This has been a very positive test and today I
continued with the Ohlins suspension, working to
find the optimum set-up, especially at the rear
where still I lack some connection and good
feeling when I open the throttle. I have also
done a lot of tyre evaluation with Michelin, with
good step forward on the rear yesterday, and
today tried some different compound front tyres.
The crash was strange, I had the same braking and
speed as the lap before, when I lost the
front-end. I rode again in the afternoon but did
not use a qualifier, just the latest Michelin
race tyres. After just five days with Honda LCR
and Michelin I'm happy with move to the LCR team
and know we can be faster when we get the 2008 model Honda RC212V."

Source: Honda Pro Image

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