Jerez IRTA Tests Jerez Circuit, Spain Thursday 1st April Yamaha Men Round Off Winter Testing During Downpour in Jerez Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Carlos Checa put the final touches to their pre-season preparations...
Jerez IRTA Tests
Jerez Circuit, Spain
Thursday 1st April
Yamaha Men Round Off Winter Testing During Downpour in Jerez
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Carlos Checa put the final touches to their pre-season preparations today, completing 19 and 17 laps respectively in the wet on their YZR-M1 machines. During a day of non-stop heavy rain, which turned the paddock into a small river, both riders spent just enough time out on track to check their wet-weather set-ups. Like most other riders present, the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha pair turned in before the end of the official session, getting off their bikes for the last time before the season-opening Grand Prix in South Africa later this month.
Fastest man of the day was Italian Honda rider Max Biaggi, who clocked a time of 1'53.834, over a second faster than new Ducati man and Superbike World Championship runner-up, Ruben Xaus (1'54.907). Following them came Troy Bayliss (Ducati, 1'55.017) Alex Barros (Honda, 1'55.544) and Nicky Hayden (Honda, 1'58.695). Checa had the ninth fastest time of 2'00.147 with Rossi one place behind him in tenth with 2'00.997.
VALENTINO ROSSI (2'00.997)
"There's not very much to say about today, except that I'm pleased with the way the bike has gone in the wet. It is still not bad to ride and the tyres felt okay too. Anyway this is the end of the winter tests and I'm very happy with our progress."
CARLOS CHECA (2'00.147)
"We've been wet-weather testing today to get the feeling of the bike in these conditions. The main thing we've been working on is different engine maps. It was good to try the new engine spec in the wet and it is definitely a bit better. It's important to try the bike in these conditions in case we have weather like this at one of the races. Overall I'm very pleased with this test and I think it is maybe the best one yet for us."
ANTONIO JIMENEZ, CHECA'S CREW CHIEF
"Carlos only went out three times today, just to check the settings in case we have weather like this in Welkom! Once he was happy we stopped; that was enough for the day and it was good to stop early as we have so much work to do getting everything ready to send to South Africa. We are quite satisfied with these two days, even though we haven't completed so many laps. The whole team is now looking forward to Welkom and we feel more confident after these IRTA tests."
DAVIDE BRIVIO, GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"These winter tests have been very interesting for us and I can't deny that we are delighted with Valentino's Barcelona results and Carlos' improvement here in Jerez. However we still have room for more improvement. Everyone in Yamaha has worked very hard to get the M1 to the stage it is at now and it will stay like this for the first race in Welkom. It's encouraging that the set-up seems to work in such a variety of circuits. We have a base and it's a good one. The only thing now is to see how the bike responds in race conditions which will be very different to these tests."
<pre> Thursday Times (wet weather): 1. Max Biaggi (ITA) Camel Honda 1'53.834 2. Ruben Xaus (SPA) D'Antin MotoGP 1'54.907 3. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'55.017 4. Alex Barros (BRA) Repsol Honda 1'55.544 5. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 1'58.695 6. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP 1'58.751 7. Marco Melandri (ITA) Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 1'59.117 8. Vittoriano Guareschi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'59.783 9. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 2'00.147 10. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 2'00.997