Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards used the first day of practice for the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix to continue working on the setting of their YZR-M1 machines on a cool and cloudy day at Jerez today. A new ...
Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards used the first day of practice for the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix to continue working on the setting of their YZR-M1 machines on a cool and cloudy day at Jerez today. A new practice format, which includes just one qualifying session on the eve of the race, meant that the riders and engineers were able to work without qualifying pressure and focus all their efforts on preparing for Sunday's 2005 curtain raiser at the Andalusian circuit.
The Gauloises Yamaha Team riders were quickly on the pace this morning, picking up from three days of IRTA tests at this circuit just over a week ago to lap comfortably inside the top five quickest times. However, cooler track conditions in the afternoon meant that both riders were unable to improve their times in the second session as they experimented with different set-up configurations.
Sete Gibernau (Honda), the only man to lap quicker than Rossi in the morning, also failed to improve in the afternoon but his lap of 1'40.800 remained untouched and the Spaniard leads the timesheets overnight. With a time just 0.086 behind Gibernau in the morning, Rossi stayed firm in second place but his team-mate Edwards dropped to eighth after Nicky Hayden (Honda), John Hopkins (Suzuki), Marco Melandri (Honda), Max Biaggi (Honda) and Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) all improved. The riders will have one more free practice on Saturday morning before the eagerly-anticipated single qualifying session in the afternoon, when Valentino Rossi will look to repeat his pole position from last season.
VALENTINO ROSSI -- (1'40.886, 30 laps)
"This morning was good but this afternoon it was more difficult, we had a few problems, so I'm not entirely happy. We made some changes to the settings to try and improve the situation but it seemed to get more difficult to improve my time! However, there was no qualifying today so Friday's lap time is not as important as it used to be. Our objective today was to work on the setting of the bike and that is what we have done. Tomorrow we will keep going and make some changes to the suspension to find a better feeling with the front end of the bike."
COLIN EDWARDS (1'41.556, 38 laps)
"We did a good job this morning, using basically the same setting we found here over the three days of tests. People might wonder why we would change that in the afternoon but the track conditions were quite different today -- with cooler temperatures and a bit of grime on the surface. We had an idea that we thought would improve the overall performance of the bike but unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case and in hindsight it was probably too big a step. The good thing is that we know what we have to do tomorrow. The new practice format is really cool -- we've been able to work calmly today and I think it's going to be a lot of fun once qualifying gets going tomorrow afternoon."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- TEAM DIRECTOR
"Today was the first day for us with the new practice format and we found it to be much better. We were able to continue our work from the tests here and work towards finding a race setting for the bike without worrying about a hot lap. It was useful for both riders and their lap times weren't bad, although neither of them has got the settings of their bike 100% yet. Tonight we have to check over the data and we'll see if we can improve things in the morning. We have plenty to do but it's only Friday so we're definitely not worried!"
<pre> COMBINED FREE PRACTICE TIMES: 1. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP 1'40.800 2. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team 1'40.886 3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team 1'40.894 4. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP 1'40.934 5. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP 1'41.212 6. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 1'41.424 7. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team 1'41.424 8. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team 1'41.556 9. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'41.658 10. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda 1'41.728