Yamaha Factory Racing Tests Phillip Island, Australia Thursday, February 19, 2004 Ambient temperature: 21.7 degrees Track temperature: 43 degrees Humidity: 47 percent Yamaha MotoGP Teams Head Home after Successful Three Day Test in ...
Yamaha Factory Racing Tests
Phillip Island, Australia
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Ambient temperature: 21.7 degrees
Track temperature: 43 degrees
Humidity: 47 percent
Yamaha MotoGP Teams Head Home after Successful Three Day Test in Phillip Island.
Yamaha's four MotoGP riders finished a three-day test in Phillip Island, Australia, today and now head home for a short rest before resuming work here in two weeks time. The teams will be back on the 9th March for a three-day private test, the last before the official IRTA Tests begin in Barcelona at the end of March.
The sun shone brilliantly once again today at the dramatic Australian circuit and Yamaha continued to test alongside Honda, Ducati and Aprilia, the latter with newly signed Jeremy McWilliams absent today after he flew home to recover from a broken rib sustained in Sepang last week. Unofficial fastest time of the day was set by Italian Honda rider Max Biaggi, who recorded 1'30.27. He was closely followed by his Honda colleagues Colin Edwards (1'30.45) and Sete Gibernau (1'30.60) who both stopped before the lunch break after completing just 31 and 41 laps respectively. American Nicky Hayden (Honda) posted exactly the same time as Sete Gibernau. New Yamaha rider and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi finished fifth fastest today with a time of 1'30.80 after 78 laps, just a fraction slower than the time he set yesterday. Fellow Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Carlos Checa finished ninth fastest with a time of 1'31.96.
The four Yamaha riders spent the last day building on the work they have done this week and last week in Sepang. 25-year-old Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi managed to do a race-simulation of over 25 consecutive laps while his team-mate Carlos Checa continued to look for the ideal set-up. Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 rider Marco Melandri was pleased to put in 15 laps in a row, a big improvement for him while still recovering from recent shoulder surgery. On the other side of the garage Norick Abe was relieved to complete what has been a somewhat frustrating test for him. All four riders are now heading home for a well-deserved rest!
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 78 laps, 1'30.80
"I'm pretty happy. This test's been quite good and we have already improved a lot since we began testing. I still need more horsepower and it is more difficult to ride at the moment because I have to push much harder. Today I did more than 25 consecutive laps and already the bike seems to work quite well when the tyres are wearing down, which is very important to know. In an ideal world I will have more horsepower for the next test here in two weeks time! Yamaha have worked so hard and so quickly so I am sure we can continue in this way."
Jeremy Burgess (Valentino Rossi's Crew Chief)
"We're alright! We just need some more push from the engine, which Yamaha are working on. This engine spec is still very new for us but everything we wanted to test is done. Yamaha are on track and they seem happy. This circuit requires quite a lot of horsepower and our times have been slightly off but the bike reliability is good. We've been developing new tyres with Michelin over the three days; they like using Valentino for testing because he gives such great feedback. We are now looking forward to the next test here and also to testing the bike in tracks such as Barcelona during the final stage in the lead-up to the first race."
Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 92 laps, 1'31.96
"Not a lot of improvement today. We have been trying different things but can't find the right way to go to improve by a second, which we obviously need. I think we are missing something; possibly we have made too many changes so we'll remedy that next time. I need to improve by a minimum of half a second to be closer to the pace and this will be my target at the next test."
Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 82 laps, 1'32.0
"I tried to do a race simulation this morning, about 15 laps, but then I had a small problem with my rear tyre so we had to stop. I've had a much better feeling during these 3 days than I did in Sepang. My shoulder is getting stronger daily, and I've worked really hard here at Phillip Island. I will need to take extra special care with my training programme when I get back to Italy to ensure that I'll be in perfect condition by the time we start racing. We never got great test results in Sepang even after six days, so it's reassuring that here the feeling was much better from the very start. We're using 16.5 inch front tyres, and we've finished working with Magneti Marelli on the engine braking system for the time being. This was a very positive test for me but I need to get a bit of rest now!"
Norick Abe (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 80 laps, 1'33.72
"I am so surprised that it wasn't very good here for me! I normally manage reasonable times in testing but I have fallen here, although not today. In 2002 I rode the M1 here and I had a fall at turn one, it was quite scary as I highsided at 200kmph and I think that is why I have not been very confident here; my lap time has not been good. Anyway we still have three more days here at the next test and I need to make a good time then. We have made a lot of changes, possibly too many!"
<pre> Lap Times Day 3:
Max Biaggi Honda 1'30.27 60 laps Colin Edwards Honda 1'30.45 31 laps Sete Gibernau Honda 1'30.60 41 laps Nicky Hayden Honda 1'30.60 83 laps Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'30.80 78 laps Alex Barros Honda 1'30.88 74 laps Loris Capirossi Ducati 1'30.97 56 laps Troy Bayliss Ducati 1'31.64 68 laps Carlos Checa Yamaha 1'31.96 92 laps Marco Melandri Yamaha 1'32.0 82 laps Shane Byrne Aprilia 1'32.28 67 laps Neil Hodgson Ducati 1'32.44 69 laps Norick Abe Yamaha 1'33.72 80 laps