Sete Gibernau placed his RC211V 2005 Honda at the top of the time-sheets during the second Sepang test of 2005. Gibernau did not break any lap records, nor set the world ablaze like Loris Capirossi did at the last test, but at this first day of Sepang II, he was the fastest Honda.
"I'm very satisfied of the work we did today. We worked on the chassis, forks and suspensions both front and rear. We also did some tire testing requested by Michelin because of the extremely hot temperatures of the tarmac. I think that we have done a step forward because we have understood more about the bike and above all because we, the team, Honda and Michelin are working in the same direction and this is the most important thing. Today we focused on the chassis, tomorrow I think we will work on the electronics," commented the Spanish rider.
Alex Barros was the second fastest Honda of the first day. The Brazilian finished the day four tenths of a second behind Gibernau.
"It was really hot today, and humid too, so it was a challenging day from a physical point of view. I'm still very satisfied though. We worked in the first part of the morning getting the bike set-up, seeing as a few of the electronic components have changed, but despite the track conditions being really bad, I went quick straight away. Obviously we already have a good base and that is really positive," said Barros.
"In the afternoon we made some more adjustments to the forks and then I tried three new front tires from Michelin" continued the Honda rider. "They are still just prototypes which their engineers made after the work we did three weeks ago, and tomorrow we will try some more, whilst we will also test some rear tires which I was unable to try out during the last tests," ended the Camel-Honda rider.
Makoto Tamada made it a Honda 1-2-3. The Japanese Ace is still coming to grips with his Michelin tires after he lived with Bridgestones for the past two years. Tamada was only three tenths of a second slower than the long-time Michelin-Honda veteran.
Capirossi may have had "slow reactions", but he still managed to break the Honda supremacy by placing his thumping V4 fourth fastest, six hundredths of a second behind Tamada.
Capirossi said, "Today I lapped pretty good, but I was worn out by the end of the day. I'm not feeling very well, so I get tired pretty quickly and above all my reactions are a bit slow. However I am quite satisfied because I managed to quickly find something that enabled me to set some good times immediately: now my hopes are high for the next couple of days".
The World Champion suffered from a similar illness as his Italian compatriot, and was only able to be fifth fastest.
"I had a fever today and I didn't feel so good. As the day went on I felt more and more weak and I began to find it hard to focus on the bike. I thought it was a good idea to stop a little early, as we had already done all the work we wanted to do. We worked a lot on tires today and also on engine braking; we had a few things to improve on this from the last test and we managed that today, so we achieved what we needed to do. I am going to go to sleep early tonight and I hope to feel better tomorrow!" declared Rossi.
Carlos Checa, who began the test early, finished the day sixth fastest, while HRC's main riders, Max Biaggi and Nicky Hayden finished seventh and eighth fastest respectively. Marco Melandri and Colin Edwards rounded up the top ten.
The three-day Sepang test will continue tomorrow, stay tuned.