Day 1: Bad weather hinders MotoGP testing in Jerez The last MotoGP test of the season got underway at the Andalucian circuit of Jerez today, with unexpectedly cold temperatures delaying the start of activity until late morning for the Yamaha duo...
Day 1: Bad weather hinders MotoGP testing in Jerez The last MotoGP test of the season got underway at the Andalucian circuit of Jerez today, with unexpectedly cold temperatures delaying the start of activity until late morning for the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Unfortunately, it then began to rain soon after track temperatures had risen to suitable level and Rossi and Edwards, testing Yamaha's new prototype 800cc motorcycle side-by-side for the first time, were only able to complete a few laps in the dry.
Rossi nonetheless topped the unofficial time sheets at the end of the day, posting a top time of 1'41.745 after 17 laps. Edwards was third fastest in the dry with a lap of 1'42.293 and the Texan also took the chance to try out his new bike in the wet, completing 36 laps in total before calling it a day. Sandwiched between the Yamaha pair was Suzuki rider John Hopkins, who set the second fastest time of 1'42.161 out of a total of 12 riders testing.
Valentino Rossi (1st -- 1'41.745, 16 laps)
"I'm very happy to see that we have no chatter here, because we had quite a lot of problems in the first race last season. This is one of my favourite tracks and it's a great pleasure for me to be able to ride comfortably again at it; it feels like another track compared to last March! Our new bike seems to work well and so far I am very happy with it. Unfortunately we only had time for a few laps before the bad weather stopped us just when we were about to begin to test some different things, but anyway we have made a good start. Even though the bike is clearly going well for both Colin and I at the moment, we know that we have a lot of work to do and so these next two days are going to be very important to us. I have some new stickers on my bike and a new helmet; they're a reference to the legend of King Arthur and 'Excalibur'! I want to show everyone that we are ready to fight back and that we're ready to do our very best throughout these winter tests. Let's hope the weather is good tomorrow so we can begin our task properly!"
Colin Edwards (3rd -- 1'42.293, 35 Laps)
"It was pretty cold this morning, not really what we were hoping for! We had to hang around until about 11.30 before it was warm enough to go out; it's not really such a great idea for us to ride when it's only 18 degrees on track! Once we finally got out there things actually felt pretty good straight away and I was happy with how the bike was adapting to a different track. We'd played around a bit with the geometry in Malaysia but I think that for here we probably need to go back a bit to what Valentino had originally, just to calm the bike down a little in some of the fast corners. Once it started raining we decided to get out there and do some laps in the wet, just to get an idea of how the new bike goes in the rain. I think that was the most productive thing we did all day because, once we were running without much traction in the wet, we could see that we do have a few issues to sort out with relation to the engine braking. We did about 15 laps in the rain, played around with a few settings and started to understand what was going on. It definitely hasn't been a wasted day, despite the weather, and we'll carry on tomorrow and see what we can do."
Day 2: Fast progress for Rossi and Edwards with new 800. Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards completed another promising day of development work on Yamaha's new 800cc motorcycle in Jerez today, despite being forced to sit out the morning session whilst they waited for the track to dry following yesterday's rain. Once they got going after lunch however the riders made the most of the time available, getting through a host of work on the prototype bike and focusing mainly on tyre testing with Michelin and chassis work.
Rossi topped the time sheets for the second day running and put in a best lap of 1'40.688 after 82 laps, the most of any rider today. His time was less than a tenth of a second off the current lap record, which was set by him in 2005. Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was second quickest with a fastest time of 1'40.799 while Edwards was third once again, recording a best time of 1'41.186 after a total of 48 laps. Tomorrow will be the final day of testing for the Camel Yamaha Team before they break for the winter holidays.
Valentino Rossi (1st -- 1'40.688, 82 laps)
"I did a lot of laps today, the most of all the riders so it was quite a tough day despite missing the morning! We had to make up for the time we missed yesterday too and everyone worked very hard to get through all the work we had. It was a good day and helpful for us to have time to do so many laps. We continued working with two different chassis, trying to find the best way forward and check the differences between them. We also got time to do some important tyre work with Michelin and it seems they have some good new things which are working well with our bike. I hope that the weather will stay like this tomorrow because we've still got quite a lot we want to do before the end of the test. We'll continue with the work we did today, check and confirm everything and then I hope we can finish for the year feeling positive!"
Colin Edwards (3rd -- 1'41.186, 48 Laps)
"We got here this morning and the track was still seriously wet from yesterday so we had to sit around for a while to wait for it to dry out. The afternoon was good though and we spent a large part of it testing front tyres for Michelin, following on from where we got to in Malaysia. We wanted to re-confirm that what we tried in Sepang is the right way to go and it's definitely working well here too so we're going in the right direction. We tried various different fronts and I'm pretty happy with the situation. We didn't try anything special on the rear, just kept a standard test tyre in, but we still put in some good times so that's encouraging. We played about with some new engine mapping and then got some chassis work done at the end of the day. In the end we tried a setting more or less identical to Valentino's, just to compare, and I could ride well with that too. It seems we've both found different settings that are working well so it's just going to be a case of seeing what works best at each track. I'm pretty happy, we're making progress and things are looking good so far."