RAIN AFFECTS THIRD DAY OF TESTING FOR YAMAHA IN MALAYSIA
The final day of Yamaha's three-day Sepang Test was interrupted today, when rain throughout the morning meant that Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards were not able to get out on track until mid-afternoon. Despite the delay, Edwards had his first ride on the prototype 2006-spec YZR-M1 and both riders completed some important tyre testing for Michelin.
Temperatures were much lower after the rain and the character and conditions of the track were quite different to the past two days, causing a shake-up in the unofficial times. Fastest man on the track today was MotoGP rookie Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who set a best lap of 2'02.77. This was still short of the 2'02.61 set by Rossi yesterday, which remains the fastest time over the three days of the test. The Yamaha riders were further down the order in seventh and ninth places today; Edwards completing 43 laps with a best time of 2'03.61, whilst Rossi set a fastest lap of 2'03.85 after just 22 laps.
Both riders now fly to Japan for a short promotional visit, before heading back to their respective homes in the UK and America for the holiday season. The Team will reconvene in Sepang on 23rd January for the first test of the 2006 MotoGP season.
COLIN EDWARDS -- 7th, 2'03.61, 43 LAPS
"After it had finally dried up I did one run on the old bike to check a few things and then I got onto the new bike pretty quickly. It took a bit of time to work things out and find my settings, but once I got going it felt great. The track conditions had really altered after the rain; it wasn't as easy out there as it has been and we encountered a few problems, but we managed to find the right tyres and iron things out. At the end of the day I feel really positive and quite excited about the new bike, especially considering that it's such early days. The stability is definitely improved and the overall feedback is really good. With a new bike, it's always a case of sacrificing some things to improve in other areas, but everything combined together on this bike feels great. Anyway, it's been a pretty good test all round and it's a good feeling to sign off the year on a high note."
VALENTINO ROSSI -- 9th, 2'03.85, 22 LAPS
"We had planned to do a longer run on the new bike this morning but unfortunately the weather didn't allow it and we had to wait to get started. We only had time to do a few things before we changed back onto the old bike. After that we tested some more tyres and still managed to complete some good work, even though we didn't do so many laps. I am happy about this test because overall it's been positive. We made some good improvements with the old bike, made a strong start with the new one and gathered some important data. Now Yamaha have some feedback about the new prototype and they can work on it over the winter, before we come back here in January after the winter break to continue our development."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"This has been an important test for us. Yamaha had the new bike ready for us early and we have been able to give them some information about it. Now they can begin to fine-tune it. It's shown a good level of performance from the start and both riders are positive about it, but we know that there is a lot of work to do yet. Anyway, the information from this test will be very useful for Yamaha over the winter. Now we wait to come back here in January with a more final version of the bike. The rain made the conditions of the track quite difficult today and it was harder for Colin to feel the benefits of the new bike, but despite this he was quite happy. Anyway, it's good to experience this, as we could find ourselves with these conditions at a race and so the information from Colin is very useful for our engineers. It's been a good test and now we're all glad to have a rest before the hard work starts again!"
<pre> UNOFFICIAL LAP TIMES
1. Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda 2'02.77 2. Nicky Hayden USA Honda 2'02.79 3. Marco Melandri ITA Honda 2'02.86 4. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki 2'02.93 5. John Hopkins USA Suzuki 2'03.10 6. Carlos Checa SPA Honda 2'03.39 7. COLIN EDWARDS USA Gauloises Yamaha Team 2'03.61 8. Casey Stoner AUS Honda 2'03.70 9. VALENTINO ROSSI ITA Gauloises Yamaha Team 2'03.85 10. Toni Elias SPA Honda 2'03.95 11. Randy du Puniet FRA Kawasaki 2'04.27 12. Chris Vermuelen AUS Suzuki 2'04.50 13. James Ellison GBR Yamaha 2'05.00