MotoGP riders commence final test before the racing begins. In unexpectedly sunny conditions the Fortuna Yamaha Team completed its first day of a two day test at the Suzuka circuit in Japan today. Riders Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa ...
MotoGP riders commence final test before the racing begins.
In unexpectedly sunny conditions the Fortuna Yamaha Team completed its first day of a two day test at the Suzuka circuit in Japan today. Riders Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa familiarised themselves with the track for the first time since they raced here last year amongst the other 22 MotoGP riders and other wildcards. A crowd of local spectators also took advantage of the weather to get a sneak preview of what to expect at the first Grand Prix of the year, which will take place at the circuit one week from today.
The Japanese track has changed slightly since last year, with a new chicane at the last section of the track causing the riders to slow down and use their lowest gears before entering the start/finish straight. Another modification for the riders to get to grips with is the now faster R130 corner before the new chicane.
Fortuna Yamaha rider Marco Melandri was not daunted by the changes and rode at a fairly consistent pace in his debut aboard the YZR-M1 at this circuit. The Italian concentrated on finding a good setting rather than lap times. Team-mate Carlos Checa tested new electronic components which caused him to stop at one point, losing him some valuable track time and the chance to try for a top lap time.
The Suzuka IRTA test continues tomorrow, followed by a three day gap before the action recommences on Friday 4th April for Grand Prix first qualifying.
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Repsol Honda 2'05.060
2. Alex Barros (BRA) Gauloises Yamaha Team 2'05.250
3. Max Biaggi (ITA) Camel Pramac Pons 2'05.293
4. Daijiro Kato (JPN) Telefonica Movistar Honda 2'05.397
5. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 2'05.529
6. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Telefonica Movistar Honda 2'05.847
7. Tohru Ukawa (JPN) Camel Pramac Pons 2'06.363
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 2'06.704
9. Kenny Roberts (USA) Suzuki Grand Prix Team 2'06.764
10. Norick Abe (JPN) Yamaha Racing Team 2'06.810
17. MARCO MELANDRI (ITA) FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM 2'07.404
19. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM 2'07.583