Sepang pre-season test: Day one

For all of us that felt Ducati's switch from Michelin tires to Bridgestones was a mistake, we stand corrected. Loris Capirossi made his 2005 debut on the top of the time sheets. "It felt great to get back on the bike again after more than a ...

For all of us that felt Ducati's switch from Michelin tires to Bridgestones was a mistake, we stand corrected. Loris Capirossi made his 2005 debut on the top of the time sheets.

"It felt great to get back on the bike again after more than a month's inactivity," said Capirossi.

"At the end of this first day of testing I'm really satisfied and convinced that we are going in the right direction with the GP5. In addition I have to admit that the Bridgestone tires have also given me positive indications here at Sepang, especially the front tire. At the end of the day I even set a great time, but we have to keep our feet firmly on the ground and continue to work with passion and enthusiasm" ended the Ducati Corse rider.

Capirossi's time of 2:02.18 was a tenth faster than Valentino Rossi, who finished the day second. "Today was not too bad, for the first day back! We spent the day working on settings, and for sure we know that this new bike is a good bike. There is some improvement to the engine and now the aim is to make some more changes and to try to get the same feeling as we had with last year's bike, so I can ride it in the same way. This bike is almost completely new, plus I haven't ridden for two months, so there is a lot of work to do and we will continue tomorrow" commented Rossi.

Rossi was followed by Camel Honda rider, Alex Barros, who lapped the Malaysian circuit four tenths slower than the reigning World Champion.

To everyone's surprise, fourth fastest was not another Ducati, Yamaha or a Honda, but a Suzuki. Kenny Roberts Jr. managed a time of 2:03 flat, which placed him and his GSV-R fourth in the time standings.

Colin Edwards rounded up the top five, eight hundredths of a second behind the Suzuki.

Edwards said "I'm pretty happy after this first day and it's awesome to be back. We spent all day changing settings and just working on various small things to try to improve the set-up. The Japanese need quite a lot of information to build their database, so we spent some time doing things for them, too. We didn't test any tires, as we wanted to just concentrate on set-up, but tomorrow we might spend some more time with different Michelin tires. We've got a new engine, a new chassis and there's a lot to work on; some areas have improved for me and some haven't, but we just need to find the balance and we'll be okay."

Sixth fastest went to Repsol rider, Nicky Hayden, who was only a tenth faster than fellow American, John Hopkins.

Max Biaggi, who suffered from a badly broken ankle two months ago, finished the day eighth fastest. The Roman emperor was followed by vice-champion, Sete Gibernau, in ninth.

Yamaha defector, Carlos Checa, rounded up the top ten with a time of 2:03.57.

<pre> MotoGP Sepang test: First Day: 1. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro 2:02.18 2. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Gauloises 2:02.30 3. Alex Barros BRA Camel Honda 2:02.71 4. Kenny Roberts USA Team Suzuki 2:03.00 5. Colin Edwards USA Yamaha Gauloises 2:03.08 6. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda 2:03.17 7. John Hopkins USA Team Suzuki 2:03.29 8. Max Biaggi ITA Repsol Honda 2:03.35 9. Sete Gibernau SPA Telefonica Movistar Honda 2:03.56 10. Carlos Checa ITA Ducati Marlboro 2:03.57 11. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 2:03.60 12. Marco Melandri SPA Telefonica Movistar Honda 2:03.62 13. Troy Bayliss AUS Camel Honda 2:04.77 14. Ruben Xaus SPA Fortuna Yamaha Tech 3 2:04.78 15. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Yamaha Tech 3 2:05.46

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Troy Bayliss , Colin Edwards , Alex Barros , Sete Gibernau , Kenny Roberts , John Hopkins , Ruben Xaus , Makoto Tamada , Marco Melandri , Toni Elias