The weather was once again the protagonist on the final day of testing for the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) riders at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, as the teams were unable to carry out their planned ...
The weather was once again the protagonist on the final day of testing for the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) riders at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, as the teams were unable to carry out their planned programs. Loris Capirossi ended up in first position with the Desmosecidi GP6 of Ducati Marlboro.
Despite Capirossi's lead on today's time board at 2m01.92, he was unable to beat Marco Melandri's day one mark, which ended up as the quickest time of the three-day journey.
A damp surface in the morning kept everyone in the pit garages until the noon hour, when the riders went out on a relatively slow track. At about 2 o'clock another shower brought proceedings to a halt until 4pm in the afternoon. A further twenty minutes of track time was available before thunder and lightning and a heavy downpour brought an end to the test.
"It was a real shame that today we were unable to do the scheduled long-run. In the morning we found a rear tyre to do the run with, but the rain ruined our plans. During twenty minutes of dry time in the afternoon, I did a 2m01.9s in the three laps available so I'm happy with that", commented Capirossi.
Less time on track meant something good for reigning MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi, who was able to celebrate his 27th birthday today. "27 years is quite a lot and I am definitely getting old, although most of the time I still feel like I am only 16!", Rossi expressed about his special day.
However, the Italian couldn't complete the long run scheduled with the Camel Yamaha Team and he concluded the day in second place with 2m02.06 after 34 laps.
"Today we couldn't do much because of the weather but overall it's been a very interesting test. I am especially happy because we have made some good progress to solve the problem with the vibration. We have some new data now and we understand better why it's happening, and how to finally fix it", explained the seven times World Champion.
Rossi's teammate, Colin Edwards, took fourth best with 2m02.24 and 28 laps around Sepang, working on the new M-1 for next season.
Between both Camel Yamaha riders was Shinya Nakano, who confirmed the potential shown yesterday with his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR. The Japanese rider clocked 2m02.20 and dropped over a second from his best time which he had on the second test day, a lap which was the second fastest over the three days.
John Hopkins finished the activity in Malaysia as he started it: among the fastest riders in the field. The American rider worked hard on finding the correct set-up for his new Suzuki GSV-R prototype race bike and in the development of the new Bridgestone tyres.
"Everything seems to be going in the right direction at the moment. I'm pleased with my times and that I can keep doing them consistently on the new Bridgestones", Hopkins said.
"We still need that bit more grunt out of corners and down the straightaways but I know Suzuki are working on that and we should hopefully have something when we get to Spain. I just now want to get racing and show what we can do!", he finished.
Top ten places were completed by Randy de Puniet in a great job with the Kawasaki, Sete Gibernau, Carlos Checa and both Repsol Honda riders, Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden.
With testing concluded at the Malaysian circuit, the teams of MotoGP will now return to Europe to prepare for the official IRTA tests from 3-5 March at Barcelona, the traditional pre-season appointment of the Continental Circus.