Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Men Continue To Improve Throughout Busy Second Day in Sepang It was business as usual today for Yamaha Factory Racing's MotoGP teams in the Malaysian heat during the second day of testing at the Sepang...
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Men Continue To Improve Throughout Busy Second Day in Sepang
It was business as usual today for Yamaha Factory Racing's MotoGP teams in the Malaysian heat during the second day of testing at the Sepang circuit. Sharing the track with most of the 2004 MotoGP grid, Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Carlos Checa completed some quick lap times to finish the day in the top group on their YZR-M1 machines.
Honda rider Max Biaggi put in the day's fastest lap with an approximate time of 2'02.70, his timing transponder removed, and fellow Honda rider Colin Edwards was not far behind with 2'02.845. Sete Gibernau (Honda), also with transponder removed, set an approximate fastest lap of 2'02.850, with Honda colleague Nicky Hayden on the pace of 2'02.855, just ahead of Yamaha newcomer Rossi. The reigning World Champion spent the day working with a new prototype engine while team-mate Checa continued refining his M1 set-up, and testing different Michelin tyre combinations. Next door in the Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 pit garage, Italian Marco Melandri continued searching for a comfortable set-up whilst building up strength in his shoulder which he injured in the latter stages of his 2003 season. Japanese rider Norick Abe worked to improve the balance of his bike and was rewarded when he posted a substantially improved time than yesterday.
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 57 laps, 2'03.08
"Today we worked 100% on the new engine spec and in the end we achieved a similar lap time to yesterday. I'm quite happy because we are working with a totally new prototype. There are some teething problems which we need to fix but for sure this engine has more potential than the other one we've been using. I am certain that this is the right way to continue, although we still need a bit more power. However I think it is better to go a bit more slowly at this point with the new engine and achieve better results in the long run. I am confident that we can continue improving tomorrow."
Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 68 laps, 2'03.31
"I feel fine with this chassis today and managed to find some good lap times. We finally got the kind of results we have been looking for. We worked with various tyres but eventually stuck with the one we used here at the last Sepang test. I improved my average lap time and did a few .03s - this is the most important thing. Obviously there are still areas we need to work on but we are making developments each time we test."
Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 40 laps, 2'05.13
"I am happy with my shoulder recovery so far this week. The problem is that I feel a little bit deluded because we have now tested for five days (including the last Sepang test) and we are still struggling to find a set-up which I feel completely comfortable with. Sepang is not one of my favourite circuits but I thought that I would improve more here. We have got a lot of work to do to solve our problems."
Norick Abe (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 55 laps, 2'04.57
"In general I felt a bit better today and was 1.5s faster than yesterday, which is good. Yesterday we worked on the rear and today we worked on the front so the balance is much better. My target for tomorrow is 2.03. I know that testing is very important but for me, three days is a long time. I always prefer racing!"