Phillip Island pre-season test: Day One

Spaniard Sete Gibernau led the MotoGP pack on the first day of pre-season testing at Phillip Island, Australia. "Today we were looking for the confirmation of the work done at Sepang and I'm very satisfied because we lapped fast from the very ...

Spaniard Sete Gibernau led the MotoGP pack on the first day of pre-season testing at Phillip Island, Australia.

"Today we were looking for the confirmation of the work done at Sepang and I'm very satisfied because we lapped fast from the very beginning. We worked on the chassis and did front and rear tire testing. As we had nothing new to test we concentrated on doing quality laps, riding constantly on a rhythm of 1m 30s. Together with the team we have done a good job, training for the race. Probably tomorrow we will have some new details to test, but from Sepang to here the time is too short for big improvements on the bike," said the two-time MotoGP Championship runner-up.

American Nicky Hayden finished the day second-fastest, just two tenths behind Gibernau. The former AMA SBK Champion expressed his content and said, "I've managed to get my best ever lap around here and we're still on last year's race tires. We've re-conformed a lot of settings with the new 2005 machine after three days in Malaysia last week. The Phillip Island circuit has always held a problem for me getting onto the start and finish straight, in the past I've been sliding around so today we concentrated on trying to solve that problem and just about did. For the next two days I'm going to work on my lap time and try and find some speed. Today proved the new 2005 machine is a definite improvement and Honda's work has paid off."

Valentino Rossi led the Yamaha charge. Though he was not the fastest of the test, two tenths behind Gibernau, he was still satisfied with the work so far. "Today was not so bad. We arrived and straight away found some improvements compared to the bike we had during the October race. We've improved the stability and the engine is a little bit faster. We still have work to do on the settings to find a better front-end feeling, so we'll continue to look for this over the next two days of this test and see if we can make further improvements. We also tested some Michelin tires today and we're confident that the bike is getting better. We're pleased with the work we've done this first day," stated the 26 year-old who celebrated his birthday yesterday.

Brazilian Alex Barros, was fourth fastest, six hundredths of a second behind Rossi.

Max Biaggi, HRC's number one rider, rounded up the top five; just three tenths behind the leader. "We enjoyed good conditions today and continued our work, it's definitely a case of 'work in progress' in the Repsol Honda pit garage. The lap time today could have been better but we're here to improve the race set-up. We have a new group of people and the Honda engineers need information and feedback and that's what today was about and we were able to continue the work from Sepang last week. I'm convinced the Repsol Honda team is the best team and we will be making life hard for the rest this season as we try to steal the championship back," declared the Roman Emperor.

Sepang II headliner, Makoto Tamada, suffered a high-speed crash and was taken to the local hospital for a check up. According to reports by this team, he suffered heavy bruising but no breakage. His RCV on the other hand, was completely destroyed.

Testing at the Island will continue until Saturday.

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Max Biaggi , Valentino Rossi , Alex Barros , Sete Gibernau , Makoto Tamada , Phillip Island