Phillip Island pre-season test: Final Day

On Friday, Sete Gibernau set the fastest time of the test when he became the first rider ever to dip below the 1:30 mark. Satisfied, Gibernau ended the test early and headed back home. This is a move Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan were famous...

On Friday, Sete Gibernau set the fastest time of the test when he became the first rider ever to dip below the 1:30 mark. Satisfied, Gibernau ended the test early and headed back home. This is a move Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan were famous for, dominate at the test, finish early and go home. Should Gibernau be doing this?

For the first time in 2005, Rossi topped the test timesheets with a time of 1:29.68, two tenths faster than pace-setter, Gibernau.

"This morning we tried some different settings from yesterday and they worked better. We found more agility in the bike. Then we continued testing tires for Michelin, which were good. The test has been quite positive and we have collected some useful information which we'll continue to work with when we return here soon," said the six-time World Champion.

Nicky Hayden, who finished Friday fifth-fastest, joined Rossi below the 1:30 mark; just a tenth behind him. Hayden's speed elevated him to the fastest Honda of the test.

Hayden said, "Today was the best day of the test for me, I got a good, long run in and recognized a bit more where we need to improve, both myself and the machine. I felt good and we made some positive steps forward and the race time I did was 28 seconds faster than my race time last year so we're pretty happy with that - but it's still not enough. We'll take away what we've learnt here and move on to Qatar. I tried both chassis options that we've got and we learned a lot about the differences but overall I just felt more consistent today and some of that's down to me getting into a rut yesterday. We're still a new team but the atmosphere's good and we're gelling really well."

Carlos Checa, Ducati's newest member, finished the day in the top three. And with a time of 1:29.86, also fast enough to conclude the test third-fastest overall. "I am really happy with this testing session, with my team and with my bike. We found a good base set-up for the Desmosedici and some very interesting indications on which to work in the future. Now it's time for a short break and then we'll be back to work in Qatar," said Checa.

Hayden's teammate, Max Biaggi, improved a tenth from his fastest time from Friday, making him fifth-fastest overall and fourth-fastest today. Biaggi explained, "I am tired today after so many laps but I wanted to give Michelin the information they needed from the tires they asked me to test - but I was praying for the red light at the end of the pit lane to end the day's testing! At times today it was a little difficult as there were some spots of rain which did little for your confidence, especially in the fast sweep into turn one. Overall we have had a good test and confirmed our feeling and direction with the machine set-up following last week's test in Sepang. We know the areas we need to improve on and we have three tests in March to achieve that."

Loris Capirossi, Ducati's hero earlier this year, finished the day fifth-fastest, enough to get both V4s into the top five. The number 65 said, "I'm generally pretty pleased with my pace, which was quite good for several successive laps at around 1min 30secs," said Capirossi. "We still have to do a bit more work over the longer distance, but I and my team are ready!"

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Sete Gibernau , Mick Doohan , Phillip Island