Chinese GP: Gauloises Yamaha Friday notes

GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM GATHER KEY DATA ON DAMP FIRST DAY IN CHINA Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got their first true taste of the Shanghai International Circuit on a tentative first day of action at the inaugural...

GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM GATHER KEY DATA ON DAMP FIRST DAY IN CHINA

Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got their first true taste of the Shanghai International Circuit on a tentative first day of action at the inaugural Grand Prix of China today. With the riders using the first free practice session to learn the track layout in the morning, they were denied the opportunity to improve their set-up and lap times in the afternoon due to damp and muggy conditions.

Both Rossi and Edwards took things carefully in the second session, with a spell of light rain, ambient temperatures reaching 31ºC and humidity levels of 76% making grip levels unpredictable. The pair set the sixth and eighth fastest times respectively this afternoon, with the constantly changing conditions making life difficult for their Gauloises Yamaha engineers but providing a valuable opportunity to collect a wide range of data with a variable weather forecast for the rest of the weekend.

A dry line did begin to form at the end of the session but never enough to allow the riders to challenge Nicky Hayden (Honda) for the best time of the day. Hayden clocked a lap of 2'02.327 in the morning session, which was delayed by two and a half hours due to a technical problem with the circuit's medical helicopter, although this is sure to be improved on if the conditions are dry for the third free practice and single qualifying sessions tomorrow.

VALENTINO ROSSI -- (2'02.677, 39 laps)

"My first impressions of the circuit yesterday were very good but after riding on it today I must admit it wasn't as much fun as I expected. It is actually quite tight and technical and is very much a Formula 1 track, so all the riders have a lot of hard work to do finding the right setting for the bikes here. It is not ideal for a MotoGP bike. Also the conditions in the afternoon were strange because the track was warm but it woulnd't dry, so it was like half and half. It was a shame because the asphalt is good and there is plenty of grip in the dry. As far as the setting is concerned we are having some problems in the fast corners. We hope it is dry tomorrow because we have a bit of work to do and also some of my rivals are very fast in the wet. Personally I would really prefer it if it doesn't rain on Sunday."

COLIN EDWARDS (2'03.799, 38 laps)

"I spent the morning just trying to find my braking markers and pick the best racing line, but when I got fired up and went for a fast lap I ran off the track, so my time wasn't as good as it could have been. The conditions completely changed in the afternoon but it looks like we haven't seen the last of the rain this weekend so I guess it was a good chance for us to make some preparations for a wet race. This is an awesome place but the track is not what I expected. It doesn't really link together and it's kind of split up into four separate sections. This is probably as good a result as we could have expected at this stage of the weekend -- there's plenty more to come. "

DAVIDE BRIVIO -- TEAM DIRECTOR

"We know the conditions are the same for everybody but at the same time the weather today made our job a lot more difficult because it's a new circuit and we're just trying to find a basic set-up. Anyway, there is a good possibility it will rain on Sunday so this was a good chance for us to try some different conditions. Apart from the long back straight the circuit is tighter and slower than we expected. We made some changes to the setting of the bike and the gearbox, from the morning to the afternoon but it was impossible to compare the data because of the change in conditions. Hopefully they'll be more consistent tomorrow."

<pre> COMBINED FREE PRACTICE TIMES:

 1. Nicky Hayden (USA)          Repsol Honda Team       2'02.327
 2. Marco Melandri (ITA)        Movistar Honda MotoGP   2'02.485
 3. Sete Gibernau (SPA)         Movistar Honda MotoGP   2'02.557
 4. Carlos Checa (SPA)          Ducati Marlboro Team    2'02.664
 5. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA)       Gauloises Yamaha Team   2'02.677
 6. Loris Capirossi (ITA)       Ducati Marlboro Team    2'02.705
 7. Alex Barros (BRA)           Camel Honda             2'02.816
 8. Kenny Roberts (USA)         Team Suzuki MotoGP      2'03.270
 9. John Hopkins (USA)          Team Suzuki MotoGP      2'03.420
10. Troy Bayliss (AUS)          Camel Honda             2'03.526

-gyt-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Troy Bayliss , Colin Edwards , Alex Barros , Sete Gibernau , Kenny Roberts , John Hopkins , Marco Melandri
Teams Team Suzuki MotoGP , Repsol Honda Team