Honda riders complete successful three-day MotoGP test at Valencia
The final day of the three-day MotoGP test at the 4.005km Valencia circuit was run in warm and sunny spring like weather that raised the track temperature and helped riders get the best from their tyres.
Repsol Honda men, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, were the fastest RCV riders on the final day of the test, Pedrosa in second place with a time of 1m 31.94s, just 0.044s off fastest time set by Casey Stoner (Ducati), Dovizioso fourth fastest.
Pedrosa worked hard with the Ohlins suspension technicians and made serious progress with the suspension, chassis and tyre combination and departs for the winter break in positive frame of mind. Following his crash of yesterday that robbed him of track time Dovizioso played catch-up on his test programme. The Italian confirmed the chassis settings he was due to try yesterday. The changes improved stability and enabled Dovi brake more smoothly into corners. Today the team further refined chassis set up and Dovi ended the day content with the results of the three-day test.
Team Engineers will now return to Japan to analyse the data gathered and input from the riders then prepare the RC212Vs for the next winter test at Sepang, Malaysia, on February 3-5.
Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was satisfied with his three-days work at Valencia. Today, despite running out of suitable tyres, the Gresini rider set his best time of the test to take fourth overall on the timing sheets.
Melandri's Gresini Honda team-mate Marco Simoncelli continued his impressive MotoGP debut test sessions setting his fastest time of the week aboard his Gresini RCV. The young Italian is still chasing good feed-back from the chassis and has yet to come to terms with the braking effect of a large capacity four-stroke.
Honda rider quotes and lap times. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd -- 1m 32.904s, 38 laps. "We had a good day out there. The track conditions were very good and there was a lot of grip, so we were able to improve our speed quite a lot. My feeling with the new suspension really improved today and that was our main focus here. It's a big change because I've been riding with Showa since 2003, so of course it takes a while to get used to something new. We didn't spend a lot of time working specifically on adjustments with the new chassis because it was important to concentrate on one thing at a time. At the next test in Sepang in February it will be a good opportunity to concentrate on the chassis. My focus now is to take some rest and then prepare as best I can for 2010. We need to start the season at full strength - in terms of me physically and the machine package. That's what the whole Team will be working on through the winter."
Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 4th -- 1m 32.825s, 51 laps. "Today we confirmed some of the setting improvements we found yesterday, and we also tested some solutions that we couldn't get round to yesterday because of my crash. I improved my lap time and I was able to go faster than during the whole race weekend, so this is positive. All in all I'm very confident because I could lap at 1m 32.8 at the end of today's session, and this lap time is as good as race pace. The stability while braking has improved and I think that we are working in the right direction, though we still need to take a step forward. For instance, we can still improve the drivability on the exit of corners and that's something we'll work on in February. Now, with the season over, we will have some rest. I have two charity events coming up and then I will spend the winter with my family and friends. We've been travelling a lot, so I like to stay at home during the winter break and get ready for 2010."
Marco Melandri, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 5th -- 1m 32.936s, 36 laps. we thought we had some set up issues but in reality the issue was that we started with hard and used tyre. Then when we put a new tyre the bike was a bit un-balanced. Anyway we succeeded to improve my lap times and collect important data. My target in 2010 is to be close to the podium so I hope that the new bike will work well. Now I look forward to period of break."
Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 10th -- 1m 33.856s, 35 laps. "Even if today I was a bit tired I had fun and the feeling improved. Also the rhythm was not bad so I'm happy. The confidence with the bike grows lap by lap even if I still don't feel the machine very well as I struggle in breaking in the first part of the turn and so I cannot exit fast. So at the moment the main issue remains the breaking. All in all the balance of these three days is positive, I worked well with the Honda technicians, they are very cooperative. We share the same target and it's nice to work like this. Now that the rookies test have been confirmed I look forward to know when the next test will be."
Hiroshi Aoyama, Interwetten Honda: 12th -- 1m 34.821s, 47 laps. "We continued working as yesterday because we want to reach a better control of the bike working step by step. We improved lap times and I'm confident. I changed a bit my style of braking, it was strange at the beginning but we are going in the right direction. We still have a lot of laps to do to know and understand the bike. Our target for next test session in Malaysia in December will be a better control of the bike so that I can brake more precisely."
Randy de Puniet, LCR Honda: Did not test.