Ambient temperature: 30.2 degrees
Track temperature: 40 degrees
Humidity: 65%

GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM GET BACK TO BUSINESS IN SEPANG

Just three weeks after rounding off Yamaha's victorious 2005 season in Valencia, Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards were back in Malaysia at their most frequently-visited testing venue today, as they commenced their winter program at Sepang alongside Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha Tech 3. A short rain shower in the morning slightly delayed proceedings, but the weather then stayed dry and the team was able to continue working uninterrupted through to the end of the day.

Rossi concentrated mainly on Michelin tyre testing, before getting on to the prototype version of the new 2006-spec YZR-M1 towards the end of the session. He completed a short run of the 5.548km circuit on the new bike and will begin more in-depth work on it tomorrow. Edwards spent the day focusing on the new riding style he has been adapting to over the last part of the season, working with settings and electronics on his M1 as well as testing some new tyres for Michelin.

According to the unofficial lap times, the fastest man on the track today was Marco Melandri (Honda) with a time of 2'02.95. He was followed by Nicky Hayden, Carlos Checa and MotoGP rookie Dani Pedrosa (all Honda) with Edwards (2'03.78) and Rossi (2'03.80) fifth and sixth fastest.

COLIN EDWARDS -- 5th, 2'03.78, 64 LAPS

"As usual it was hot and humid out there, but it feels good to be back on the bike. We had a bit of a rain delay in the morning and got started a bit late, but once we did get going I instantly felt comfortable on the bike. I said in Valencia that I needed to get out and do lap after lap to really ingrain this new style in to my head, and this test is offering me that chance. As soon as I started I felt that it was coming much more easily than at the last two races; I didn't have to make such an effort to consciously think about doing it and it felt more natural. We played around with some new settings and electronics and found that we are moving even more towards Valentino's settings; it all felt good. We tested a couple of tyres for Michelin, but mostly today was about getting back into the swing of things and getting comfortable with my new style."

VALENTINO ROSSI -- 6th, 2'03.80, 60 LAPS

"My first impressions of the new bike are very positive. The engine seems a little bit faster and it feels more stable. However I only did a short run; just a few laps, so it's really too early to make any detailed observations about it at this stage. Tomorrow the real work will start and we will take some time to try to understand the new bike and begin to work on the set-up. Most of today we spent on the 2005 bike, testing tyres for Michelin and trying to understand the problems that we had here during the race in September. We made some investigations and tried to gather some information to help us, and we made some good progress. We will continue like this tomorrow as well as getting started working on the new bike."

DAVIDE BRIVIO -- GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR

"This morning the track was a bit wet so we had a delay to our starting time. It's only the first day back but it was a positive start for both riders. Valentino made some laps on the new bike, just to get the initial feeling, and tomorrow we will start to work properly on it, trying to gather as much information as we can. Colin is continuing from where he left off in Valencia, getting used to his new style of riding and adapting his settings to match it. He will carry on like this tomorrow and then on Wednesday he will try the new bike also."

<pre> UNOFFICIAL LAP TIMES

1.  Marco Melandri      ITA     Honda                   2'02.95
2.  Nicky Hayden        USA     Honda                   2'03.20
3.  Carlos Checa        SPA     Honda                   2'03.58
4.  Dani Pedrosa        SPA     Honda                   2'03.75
5.  COLIN EDWARDS       USA     Gauloises Yamaha Team   2'03.78
6.  VALENTINO ROSSI     ITA     Gauloises Yamaha Team   2'03.80
7.  Toni Elias          SPA     Honda                   2'04.05
8.  John Hopkins        USA     Suzuki                  2'04.13
9.  Casey Stoner        AUS     Honda                   2'04.29
10. Shinya Nakano       JPN     Kawasaki                2'04.90
11. James Ellison       GBR     Yamaha                  2'05.10
12. Chris Vermuelen     AUS     Suzuki                  2'05.56
13. Randy du Puniet     FRA     Kawasaki                2'05.60

Sepang Lap Record: Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2005 -- 2'02.993

Sepang Best Lap: Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2005 -- 2'01.731

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