Updated Post: Rossi Fastest On Final Day Of MotoGP Test At Phillip Island

Updated Post: Rossi Fastest On Final Day Of MotoGP Test At Phillip Island

© 2005, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

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From a press release issued by Telefonica Movistar Honda:

POSITIVE DAY OF TESTING FOR THE TELEFONICA MOVISTAR HONDA TEAM

Record of laps for Marco Melandri on his third day of testing: 122 laps in total, 1:30.90 his best time.

Phillip Island, 19th February 2005

Third and last day of testing for the Telefonica MoviStar Honda Team on the technical and demanding track of Phillip Island. While Sete Gibernau was on his way home, after having completed with success the programme of work scheduled for this Australian test, his team mate, Marco Melandri, worked hard today completing 122 laps.

Together with his team, Marco worked on the set up of the bike and made several tyre testing. When he found the best setting he started his long run, 27 consecutive laps equal to the race distance of 120,096 kms.


MARCO MELANDRI – 1:30.90 , 122 laps:
“Iit was a hard and long day of testing but I’m quite satisfied because I needed to recover mentally from the two crashes I had in the previous days. Together with the team, we worked this morning on the set up of the bike and tyre testing before starting a long run. The long run was quite good because I ran consistently on a pace of 1:31.4 which is faster than the pace I had during the last GP here in October. I made my best lap time at the 20th lap of the race simulation, this proves that I’m quite consistent. I still need to improve my time on the single lap. For the moment I want to concentrate on the race pace but from Irta test in Barcelona I will start working on the single lap. For the race, in fact, it’s important to take the start from the first rows. Now I have almost 10 days of holidays before next text session in Qatar, where I’d like to arrive more focused on myself and the work I have to carry out.”

The Telefonica Movistar Honda Team will be back to work at the beginning of March in Qatar for next pre-season text session that will take place at Losail circuit on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March.


UNOFFICIAL LAP TIMES
1. Valentino Rossi 1:29.68
2. Nicky Hayden 1:29.78
3. Carlos Checa 1:29.86
4. Max Biaggi 1:29.88
5. Loris Capirossi 1:30.18
6. Colin Edwards 1:30.23
7. Alex Barros 1:30.55
8. Marco Melandri 1:30.90
9. Troy Baylis 1:30.90
10. Rubens Xaus 1:31.98
11. Elias 1:32.96

Guida pista Phillip island
Best Pole Position : Rossi (Honda -2003) 1:30.068
Official record of the track: Loris Capirossi (Ducati – 2004) 1:31.102



More, from a press release issued by Camel Honda:

Testing concludes in Australia: next on the agenda for Camel Honda is the Qatar test from 1st to 3rd March and the team presentation in Milan on 16th March.

Three days of tests in Malaysia followed by another three in Australia – a journey of ten days in total – came to an end in the final session today, with one last big effort from the team and riders. The Camel Honda team have worked hard every day and made the most of all the available track time as they look to find a base set-up for the RC211V 2005. Alex Barros was consistently amongst the top riders at the Malaysian test, working on the set-up of the electronics and tyres tests with optimum results. In Australia he has continued to work closely with the Michelin technicians with excellent feedback whilst a front fork test, which was the main focus of his work today, has left certain room for improvement. Troy Bayliss, who has to adapt not only to new technical staff in 2005 but also to a completely different bike to anything he has ridden up to now, has worked relentlessly to try and find a better feeling with the bike. Next on the agenda for Camel Honda is the Qatar test from 1st to 3rd March and the team presentation in Milan on 16th March.

Ramon Forcada – Camel Honda – (Alex Barros’ Chief Engineer)
“We were expecting a little bit more today from the tests we carried out on the front forks, which are specially designed for this circuit. However, there is still work to do. We’ve found a few good things related to the electronic settings and other things that we can discard. But that is exactly what tests are for and we’re still not even close to the start of the season. At the next tests in Qatar, where the track is dirty and slippery, it will be an ideal chance to work on the electronics of the bike.”

Alex Barros – Camel Honda – 1:30.55 (82 laps) 7th fastest
“We worked a lot on the new forks today but we honestly haven’t had the results we were hoping for. I’m losing half a second because of it because the rest of the bike is fine. There are two positive things to take out of it though – firstly that the race here in Australia is not until October, so we have plenty of time to make progress with the forks, and secondly I am really happy with the work we have done here and in Malaysia with Michelin. They are preparing very well for the new season and when we put all the data they have gathered from tests on the compound and construction into practice, I think the results will be excellent. We’ll be able to verify that in Qatar, although it is not the best circuit because we don’t have many references there, and definitely at the Irta tests in Spain”.

Santiago Mulero – Camel Honda (Troy Bayliss’ Chief Engineer)
“We’re still working hard. Today was more or less the same as yesterday in terms of lap times but the important thing is that Troy is lapping consistently with a good pace. In Malaysia we didn’t make much progress but here we have, so I think we should continue like this, making gradual progress with every lap without confusing matters.

Troy Bayliss – Camel Honda – 1:30.98 (85 laps) 10th fastest
“I did the same time on race tyres today as I did yesterday, which is more or less the same as I did at the GP here last October on qualifiers (1:30.87). We’re still not up there with the fast guys but we’re not far off. We’ve worked a lot over these few days and we will continue to do so at the next tests in Qatar. I can’t wait to get there actually – not because I like the track particularly but I just want to improve. In any case I’m leaving here lot happier than Malaysia.”

Unofficial lap times
1. Rossi (Yamaha) 1:29.68 ; 2. Hayden (Honda) 1:29.69; 3 Checa (Ducati) 1:29.86; 4. Biaggi (Honda) 1:29.88; 5. Capirossi (Ducati) 1:30.18; 6. Edwards (Yamaha) 1:30.23; 7. Barros (Camel Honda) 1:30.55; 8. Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:30.85; 9. Melandri (Honda) 1:30.90; 10. Bayliss (Camel Honda) 1:30.98; Roberts (Suzuki) 1:31.21; Xaus (Yamaha)1:31.98; Elias (Yamaha) 1:32.96


More, from a press release issued by Gauloises Yamaha:

Ambient temperature: 25 degrees
Track temperature: 30 degrees
Humidity: 45%

GAULOISES YAMAHA CONCLUDES ANTIPODEAN TESTING
The Gauloises Yamaha Team closed another stage in its demanding winter test programme today in Phillip Island, Australia, with Valentino Rossi taking the unofficial fastest lap time of the three days. In slightly cooler conditions than the previous two days, the Italian rider recorded a best time of 1:29.68, faster than his own circuit best time of 1:30.068 set during the 2003 Phillip Island round. Rossi’s new team-mate Colin Edwards also improved on his previous two days with an unofficial 1:30.23, quicker than his 2004 Australian Grand Prix official qualifying time of 1:30.625.

All riders present from the Yamaha, Honda, Ducati and Suzuki MotoGP teams, except Sete Gibernau, took advantage of the last opportunity to test at the Australian circuit before they will race there in October. Nearly all lapped under Loris Capirossi’s circuit lap record of 1:31.102, set last year.

Valentino Rossi (1:29.68, 57 laps)
“This morning we tried some different settings from yesterday and they worked better. We found more agility in the bike. Then we continued testing tyres for Michelin, which were good. The test has been quite positive and we have collected some useful information which we’ll continue to work with when we return here soon.”

Colin Edwards (1:30.60, 78 laps)
“Today was really encouraging, I got on with some really good tyres and played around a bit and the result and time was better. I didn’t do so many laps today but the ones I did were good. We checked out all the settings and we feel like we’ve made some progress. I’m heading back to the States now for a bit of family time before we come back here in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited about the news that we’re going to race in Turkey, Rio was always a cool place but it wasn’t one of my favourite tracks. It’s always fun to go to new tracks, and now we’ve got three new ones in a year, although Laguna isn’t so new for me.”

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director
“We finished the test at a good level, both riders have improved since the first day, and we’ve got some good information from the areas we needed to work in. It’s been a positive test for the riders and the bike. We look forward to coming back very soon to continue this development.”

The Gauloises Yamaha Team returns to the Phillip Island circuit for a three day test on 8 March.

Unofficial Lap Times:

1. VALENTINO ROSSI (Yamaha) 1:29.68 (57 laps)
2. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:29.78
3. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:29.86
4. Max Biaggi (Honda) 1:29.88
5. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1:30.18
6. COLIN EDWARDS (Yamaha) 1:30.23 (52 laps)
7. Alex Barros (Honda) 1:30.55
8. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:30.86
9. Troy Bayliss (Honda) 1:30.90
10. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:30.90
11. Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) 1:31.21
12. Ruben Xaus (Yamaha) 1:31.98
13. Toni Elias (Yamaha) 1:32.16


More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Information:

MotoGP test Phillip Island – Australia. Final day of three-day test.
February 19, 2005.

HRC conclude successful Phillip Island MotoGP test session

The curtain came down on the three-day MotoGP test at Phillip Island, Australia today with the Honda tams and riders leaving for home in confident mood. Team technicians and HRC engineers back to base to analyse the data gathered from the three-day test the riders to recharge their batteries after six grueling day’s work over the last 10 days.

Three Honda RC211V riders broke the 1:30 barrier at Phillip Island Repsol Honda factory team rider the fastest of the over the three-day with his best time of today at 1:29.780. The American put the 2005 version of the 5-cylinder 990cc RCV through an extensive 106-laps at one stage running a race simulation distance which was 28-seconds faster than his race time at the GP held last October.

Hayden’s Repsol Honda teammate Max Biaggi worked even harder putting in 120-laps as he worked his way through a long programme of tyre testing for Michelin. At the end of the day Biaggi was close to exhaustion but pronounced himself happy with the results of the three-day test and the performance of his new technical crew.

Alex Barros (Camel Honda) spent his day testing the new front forks HRC brought to Phillip Island but at the end of the test had yet to find the optimum settings in combination with the range of front tyres he tried. Teammate Troy Bayliss left the track in more buoyant mood than following his three-day test at Sepang last week. The Australian, a former World Superbike Champion, has steadily improved on each of the three-days and his eager to et to the next MotoGP test, at the Losail circuit in Qatar on March 1-3, to continue the progress made at Phillip Island.

Sete Gibernau (Telefonica MoviStar Honda:) had completed his test programme yesterday and took no part in the action today. His teammate, Italian Marco Melandri, did test and set impressive lap time his fastest of the day on his 20th lap of the session. Melandri is in his first season with the RC211V and has steadily improved his consistency to the point where he feels able to go for fast single laps times when the teams get to Losail next month.

Konica Minolta rider Makoto Tamada was another who sat out the day’s action. Tamada crashed heavily on Thursday and was sidelined with severe bruising to his left hand and left foot. The popular Japanese rider will be fit to test at Losail.


Honda rider lap times and quotes.

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 1:29.780 – 106 laps.
“Today was the best day of the test for me, I got a good, long run in and recognised a bit more where we need to improve, both myself and the machine. I felt good and we made some positive steps forward and the race time I did was 28 seconds faster than my race time last year so we’re pretty happy with that – but it’s still not enough. We’ll take away what we’ve learnt here and move on to Qatar. I tried both chassis options that we’ve got and we learned a lot about the differences but overall I just felt more consistent today and some of that’s down to me getting into a rut yesterday. We’re still a new team but the atmosphere’s good and we’re gelling really well.”


Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda: 1:29.880 – 120 laps
“I am tired today after so many laps but I wanted to give Michelin the information they needed from the tyres they asked me to test – but I was praying for the red light at the end of the pit lane to end the day’s testing! At times today it was a little difficult as there were some spots of rain, which did little for your confidence, especially in the fast sweep into turn one. Overall we have had a good test and confirmed our feeling and direction with the machine set-up following last week’s test in Sepang. We know the areas we need to improve on and we have three tests in March to achieve that.”


Makoto Tanaka, Repsol Honda Team Manager:
“Overall we’ve had three good days here at Phillip Island. Max probably did too many laps today but it was good that he tried the tyres for Michelin Nicky had a good day today and discovered some areas of set-up which improved his performance. We know we still have a lot of work to do and will continue to work hard towards improving the machine in the next tests in Qatar and Spain.”


Alex Barros, Camel Honda: 1:30.55 – 82 laps.
“We worked a lot on the new forks today but we honestly haven’t had the results we were hoping for. I’m losing half a second because of it because the rest of the bike is fine. There are two positive things to take out of it though – firstly that the race here in Australia is not until October, so we have plenty of time to make progress with the forks, and secondly I am really happy with the work we have done here and in Malaysia with Michelin. They are preparing very well for the new season and when we put all the data they have gathered from tests on the compound and construction into practice, I think the results will be excellent. We’ll be able to verify that in Qatar, although it is not the best circuit because we don’t have many references there, and definitely at the IRTA tests in Spain.”


Ramon Forcada, Camel Honda – Alex Barros’ Chief Engineer.
“We were expecting a little bit more today from the tests we carried out on the front forks, which are specially designed for this circuit. However, there is still work to do. We’ve found a few good things related to the electronic settings and other things that we can discard. But that is exactly what tests are for and we’re still not even close to the start of the season. At the next tests in Qatar, where the track is dirty and slippery, it will be an ideal chance to work on the electronics of the bike.”


Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda: 1:30.98 – 85 laps.
“I did the same time on race tyres today as I did yesterday, which is more or less the same as I did at the GP here last October on qualifiers (1:30.87). We’re still not up there with the fast guys but we’re not far off. We’ve worked a lot over these few days and we will continue to do so at the next tests in Qatar. I can’t wait to get there actually – not because I like the track particularly but I just want to improve. In any case I’m leaving here lot happier than Malaysia.”


Santiago Mulero, Camel Honda- Troy Bayliss’ Chief Engineer.
“We’re still working hard. Today was more or less the same as yesterday in terms of lap times but the important thing is that Troy is lapping consistently with a good pace. In Malaysia we didn’t make much progress but here we have, so I think we should continue like this, making gradual progress with every lap without confusing matters.”


Telefonica MoviStar Honda:

Sete Gibernau, Telefonica MoviStar Honda: Completed his test on day two.

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: Did not test due to severe bruising sustained in a crash on the first day of the test.


More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM CONCLUDES TESTING IN AUSTRALIA

Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi again concentrated on tyre testing and race set-up at Phillip Island. The Ducati Marlboro Team back testing in Qatar from Tuesday March 1 onwards.

Phillip Island, 19 February 2005 – The Ducati Marlboro Team successfully concluded its Australian testing programme today at the Phillip Island circuit. In cloudy but mild conditions (22° air/29° track), Ducati engineers and riders continued development work on the Desmosedici GP5 with the new Bridgestone tyres. A few drops of rain fell at around midday, forcing the team to take a break, but the day’s testing schedule was unaffected.

Development work with the latest Bridgestone tyres is continuing and Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi were able to use the Australian track for numerous tests with rear tyres, some new and others used previously, but all the while keeping the same set-up to concentrate exclusively on the different tyre reactions.

Spanish rider Carlos Checa was in particularly good form today, ending the test with a best time of 1:29.86 over 88 laps. Satisfied with the three-day testing session in Australia, Carlos tried to put in the maximum number of laps on the most promising rear tyres.

“I am really happy with this testing session, with my team and with my bike” declared Carlos. “We found a good base set-up for the Desmosedici and some very interesting indications on which to work in the future. Now it’s time for a short break and then we’ll be back to work in Qatar”.

Today Loris Capirossi focussed on suspension set-up but also on mapping work for the powerful Desmosedici engine and at the end of the day was pleased with the bike’s better ‘driveability’. Loris ended the Phillip Island session with a quickest time of 1:30.18 after completing 59 laps.

“I’m generally pretty pleased with my pace, which was quite good for several successive laps at around 1:30” said Capirossi. “We still have to do a bit more work over the longer distance, but I and my team are ready!”.

Satisfaction about the Australian tests was also expressed by Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli, who commented:
“Even though we lost a bit of time today due to a few drops of rain, we are very pleased with the way the test went: we did many consecutive laps in race set-up and gained a lot of information on how to evolve both the suspension set-up of the bike and the rear tyres. Even though we know that the weather conditions for the race will be a bit different, we gathered a lot of information which will be useful next October.”

The next tests for the Ducati Marlboro Team will be as follows:
March 1-3 at Doha (Qatar)
March 18-20 at the IRTA Tests, Catalunya (Spain)
March 25-27 at the IRTA Tests, Jerez de la Frontera (Spain)


More, from a press release issued by Fortuna Yamaha:

FORTUNA YAMAHA CONCLUDE THREE DAYS OF TESTS IN AUSTRALIA

The Fortuna Yamaha today concluded three days of tests at the Phillip Island circuit. For team riders Rubén Xaus and Toni Elías it was the end of two planned sessions at the Australian track.
Fortuna Yamaha rider Rubén Xaus completed 91 laps aboard his YZR M1. The Spanish rider, still suffering slightly from the effects of injury, was satisfied with the progress he is making. His team-mate Toni Elías was exhausted at the end of another day of hard work. The Spanish youngster tested different set-up configurations and tyre
combinations as he looks to analyse the reactions of his Yamaha YZR-M1. Elías also leaves the test in satisfied mood, after completing an intense programme alongside the team’s engineers and mechanics. The best time of the day was set by Gauloises Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. The
Italian completed 57 laps of the circuit with a fastest lap of 1:29.68. Nicky Hayden (Honda, 1:29.78) and Carlos Checa (Ducati, 1:29.86) were second and third fastest respectively. The MotoGP teams will be back at Phillip Island in two weeks’ time.

Rubén Xaus, (1:31.98, 91 laps)

“We haven’t improved the lap time from yesterday but that’s not the main objective at the moment. We’re still getting to know the bike and I think it’s important not to rush that and to work consistently on it. It was a day of very hard work but it served to keep us on a progressive upward curve. I think we deserve a few days off but, honestly, I already want to get back on the bike!”

Toni Elías (1:32.96, 67 laps)

“We’ve had six days of tests more or less one after the other now and that’s starting to take its toll on every level. I’ve got to improve a lot because I’m still a long way off the times being set by the top riders but I think that’s normal given the circumstances and we just have to keep working. Everybody is giving me constant support and that is important for me to keep making progress. We’ve worked really well over the last few days and I’m satisfied even though I’m looking forward to a rest before coming back here to Australia. The whole team’s doing a great job.”


More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki:

Encouraging Australian test for Team SUZUKI MotoGP

Team SUZUKI MotoGP completed its pre-season test at Phillip Island in Australia today with encouraging results.

Kenny Roberts Jr and John Hopkins had a busy three-day schedule, with emphasis placed on the latest engine control systems and an extensive Bridgestone tyre test. Many new updates are now expected for the all-important Official MotoGP Tests in March, following on from the lessons learnt in Malaysia and now Australia.

Both riders tested numerous new Bridgestone race compound and new construction tyres throughout the test. This allowed technicians and riders to analyse and compare vital data to improve all aspects of handling and control of the GSV-R over race distance.

Hopkins was especially pleased with the tyre test. He said: “Bridgestone have done a great job this week, they’ve made a race compound tyre that I’m really happy with – definitely the best I’ve ever used – so this is a really positive move for me and another step in the right direction.”

Roberts Jr was also happy with the progress made on all fronts, particularly on the engine control systems. He left the test looking forward to the next steps from Suzuki which will take the GSV-R’s increasingly competitive potential to the next level. Having missed the 2004 Australian GP through injury, this was also a good chance to re-familiarise himself with the challenging Phillip Island circuit.

Operations Manager Howard Plumpton said: “This has been another constructive test for Team SUZUKI MotoGP. We have again made more improvements to the GSV-R and are leaving Phillip Island with lots of valuable data. This test was not about lap times but progressing with the development of the bike. Even so, high 1:30 lap times are a big step forward from our 2004 pace and are a lot closer to the front runners. It is clear we still have to improve but everybody is pushing hard to achieve those improvements. The support from Bridgestone has again been excellent and I know they are working very hard on making the right tyres for the GSV-R- this has been emphasised by John’s upbeat reaction to the new compounds.”

Team SUZUKI MotoGP now travels to Spain for the first Official MotoGP Test at Barcelona on March 18th-20th, in preparation for the new MotoGP World Championship season beginning at Jerez in Spain on April 10th.

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