For the first time in the history of the premier class of motorcycle racing, Shanghai, China played host to the MotoGP paddock. The Shanghai circuit was built last year and hosted the first-ever Chinese F1 round. Like Sepang, Shanghai is ...
For the first time in the history of the premier class of motorcycle racing, Shanghai, China played host to the MotoGP paddock.
The Shanghai circuit was built last year and hosted the first-ever Chinese F1 round. Like Sepang, Shanghai is futuristic and state-of-the-art. Until yesterday, all riders praised the circuit, but today some felt "it wasn't as much fun" as they had expected. "It is actually quite tight and technical and is very much a Formula 1 track, so all the riders have a lot of hard work to do finding the right setting for the bikes here. It is not ideal for a MotoGP bike," said Valentino Rossi.
The circuit has two very long straights which are interconnected by a series of slow hairpin-type corners, plus two roundabouts that are almost 360 degrees.
The first practice session of the day was delayed by almost two and a half hours, which pushed the afternoon session by as much. The delay was caused by the late arrival of the medical helicopter. To make things even worse, the afternoon session was ran in the wet, which would not have happened had the helicopter arrived on time.
Nicky Hayden finished the morning session fastest with a time of 2:02.327, just a tenth faster than Marco Melandri. Melandri's teammate, Sete Gibernau, finished third fastest, a further tenth behind his teammate.
Fourth-fastest went to Spaniard Carlos Checa, aboard his factory Ducati. While Rossi, completed the morning session just one hundredths of a second behind the Checa.
The afternoon session brought even more surprises. Former 500GP World Champion, Kenny Roberts Junior, was fastest in the wet (2:14.592). The American was the only non-Honda rider in the top-five.
Portuguese GP winner, Alex Barros, was second-fastest in the afternoon. Gibernau maintained his third-overall standing by finishing third, followed by Troy Bayliss and Max Biaggi in fifth.
Forecasts call for even more rain tomorrow and Sunday. Let us pray for none.