Qatari GP: Honda LCR Thursday notes

CHECA FASTEST HONDA RIDER AS SEASON OPENS IN QATAR Honda LCR Carlos Checa made a stunning start to the 2007 season by posting the fastest time by a Honda rider in today's official practice for the opening race, the Qatar Grand Prix. The ...

CHECA FASTEST HONDA RIDER AS SEASON OPENS IN QATAR

Honda LCR Carlos Checa made a stunning start to the 2007 season by posting the fastest time by a Honda rider in today's official practice for the opening race, the Qatar Grand Prix. The experienced Spaniard set the fifth fastest time overall at the 5.3 km Losail Circuit, despite being only 16th on the list of top speeds at 302.6 kph.

Checa was 0.4s under the existing lap record held by Valentino Rossi, who set the fastest time today. It was an impressive performance by Checa and the LCR squad, a Honda designated FPS (factory performance support) team running an 800cc, RC212V in the MotoGP Championship. Today's practice saw the introduction of the new tyre regulations which limits each rider to 14 front and 17 rear tyres for the weekend. Checa has selected two qualifying tyres out of his allocation 17 rear tyres.

CHECA: "Setting the fastest lap time by Honda rider is not the most important thing, I would prefer to be the fastest Honda rider in top speed. We made positive steps today with braking stability and I feel very good on the bike, better than at the Qatar test last month. But we still need improvements, including top speed, it is critical for overtaking, but I have every confidence in Honda. The new tyre rule is OK for me -- less confusion and easier -- and our main job now is to improve the consistency of the rear-end set-up and make a final tyre choice for the race."

British rookie Eugene Laverty qualified 24th on the provisional grid for the 250cc Qatar Grand Prix after a gearbox problem forced him out of the session after just nine laps. Laverty had improved his morning practice time by 1.4 seconds.

LAVERTY: "I was just starting to make some progress, with a better front-end set-up and softer tyre, when the gearbox problem forced me to stop. But we have a good direction for tomorrow and with more track time I'm sure I can improve my times."

-credit: honda lcr

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Carlos Checa , Valentino Rossi , Eugene Laverty