Sete Gibernau topped the time sheets for the second day in a row. And in the process, the number 15 broke the lap record by two tenths of a second. "Here we have worked on the set up of the bike, chassis and tires and found the best combination...
Sete Gibernau topped the time sheets for the second day in a row. And in the process, the number 15 broke the lap record by two tenths of a second.
"Here we have worked on the set up of the bike, chassis and tires and found the best combination of what we have. I lapped fast since this morning and the long run was quite good as I was lapping consistently in low 1min 30secs. There are still some areas that can be improved but I'm happy because I have clear ideas and we are working in the right direction. The team is doing a great job and HRC and Michelin are helping us a lot," explained the Telefonica MovideStar rider.
Second fastest went to Spaniard, Carlos Checa. He, along with Gibernau and Max Biaggi, were the only three riders to dip below the 1:30 mark.
Checa said, "Today we again worked well and I'm really happy. This morning we carried out a lot of testing on the suspension set-up and in the afternoon I tested several different rear tires, some of which gave really good results."
Biaggi may have crashed, but took full responsibility for his mistake. "I felt stronger today even though I had a crash. We've definitely improved again today with a better suspension setting and the machine felt more consistent for a long period of time. I'm preferring the lower rear suspension link at the moment, the lap time between that and the upper link is the same, but the feeling is slightly better with the lower link. But then a single lap doesn't mean you will be fast in a race condition. The crash was my own fault really. We tried a new tire and I knew quickly that the tire could well be an improvement but it caused some chatter and the machine needed adjusting for the tire. I lost the front at turn six on the lap I was coming back into the pits to make the adjustment, turn six was where the chatter was worst," said Biaggi.
Valentino Rossi was the first rider to fail to get below the 1:30 mark. However, Rossi did have other "problems" to worry about than simple lap-times. Rossi explained, "I hit a bird as I was exiting the pit lane today and it went into my airbox; it fell out half way round the track and when I returned to the pit garage there were just some feathers left. I'd just like to say that I'm very sorry for the bird! We did a lot more tire work today and also a long run, which I was quite happy with. I did some fast laps and it was an improvement on the race last October. We still need to make some changes to the chassis setting, as there's something not quite perfect at the moment; tomorrow we will concentrate on this."
Rossi hopes that once he finds the right settings, he'll be able to join 1:29 crowd, "Some other riders have managed to be very fast today with laps under 1min 30secs; I didn't manage this, but maybe if we can make some small improvements tomorrow I might be able to. We will see!"
Nicky Hayden is becoming a regular top-five fixture in testing and day two at the Australian circuit was no exception.
"We really got working on some chassis testing today, spent a lot of time trying to make the changes work and it was a valuable exercise. We then had a go with what I'm normally used to, but I suppose that's what testing is all about. I tried the lower rear suspension link, for the first time since a test in Malaysia in 2003. There's very little difference between the upper and lower links and I think it really boils down to what feels most comfortable for the rider. I did a lot of laps today, maybe too many, which is something we want to address tomorrow and hopefully I can get a good run on a rear race tire and grab a fast lap along the way," concluded the Kentucky-Kid.
Testing will conclude tomorrow.