Rossi and Checa Make Good Progress Between Rain Showers in Jerez Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi completed another worthwhile pre-season test session today, topping the leader board again despite doing just 39 laps on his YZR-M1...
Rossi and Checa Make Good Progress Between Rain Showers in Jerez
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi completed another worthwhile pre-season test session today, topping the leader board again despite doing just 39 laps on his YZR-M1 machine due to sporadic rain showers throughout the day. His team-mate Carlos Checa also had a valuable day of testing, finishing fourth fastest during this first day of the second official IRTA Tests of 2004.
A rainy morning saw only a few MotoGP bikes venture out for practice, the Yamaha riders eventually getting underway in the early afternoon after the track had dried out. Reigning World Champion Rossi quickly went to the top of the leader board and managed to stay there, bettering his own best time several times over before another rain shower half an hour before the end of the session brought him in with a final fastest time of 1'42.656. Just over one tenth of a second behind him was Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts (1'42.761), and Colin Edwards on his Honda (1'42.771). Checa, who completed 50 laps, also clocked up some fast times, finishing the day fourth fastest with a time of 1'42.927.
VALENTINO ROSSI (1'42.656)
"It was another good surprise to be fastest today, I am very happy. We arrived here and everything immediately went quite well with a set-up similar to Barcelona. The bike is easy to steer, very agile, and it's handling the braking well. We are still having some problems because after 8 or 9 laps the bike is a bit more difficult to control, but we will keep working to change that. Unfortunately today we weren't able to do a lot of testing; I hope the weather is better tomorrow and I can improve even more. This run of tests has been really important because when you have tested at Sepang, Phillip Island, Barcelona and Jerez, you have tried the bike on all types of different corners and, overall, the bike seems in a good way."
CARLOS CHECA (1'42.927)
"We did a good job today and stuck with the same set-up we used in Barcelona. There's obviously a clear improvement and I think it's coming from an increase in my turning speed, but we are still looking to do better. The new engine spec is obviously making some difference too but apart from that we have made as few changes as possible to the bike. The target now for the rest of the test is to do several laps at a good pace; I already did seven or eight fast laps in a row this afternoon, but then the rain came and stopped me."
JEREMY BURGESS, VALENTINO ROSSI CREW CHIEF
"We've changed the suspension a bit for Jerez, but overall the bike's not that different from Barcelona. There's much more feel from the tyres here because the temperature is higher than Barcelona. Each time we test we get a better picture and we are pleased with the way the bike is adapting to each circuit. It is not the case that the Yamaha has to have big changes each time you move. It's good to come to our fourth circuit and be fastest on the first day, although we are continuing to fix the problems we have, as always."
<pre> Wednesday Times:
1. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 1'42.656 2. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP 1'42.761 3. Colin Edwards (USA) Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot 1'42.771 4. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 1'42.927 5. Alex Barros (BRA) Repsol Honda 1'42.974 6. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP 1'43.314 7. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team 1'43.386 8. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot 1'43.408 9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 1'43.457 10. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Camel Honda 1'43.541