A strong contingent of 2005 SBK and Supersport Championship contenders, attending an unofficial test at Valencia on 13 and 14 December, found their plans to test their new machines somewhat hampered by the cold and generally wet weather conditions. After a first day blighted by early rains, and the wet track taking time to dry, many of the teams' hopes were pinned on better weather on day two. Another day of early wet conditions, and a track that held water all day in the single digit temperatures, meant that most teams finished their sessions early, looking to early season tests in 2005 to complete their planned improvements. Valuable wet weather information was nonetheless gathered for official tyre supplier, Pirelli.
2005 Yamaha signing Andrew Pitt had his second test on the YZF-R1, having spent three sun-kissed days at Valencia in mid November. With new suspension, slipper clutch and engine mapping modifications to test, Pitt worked through the days but was not able to try out all the new parts for his official Yamaha. He set a best time approaching the 1'40s bracket.
Yamaha power has shown to be the choice of the DFX Racing team this year, the former Ducati runners having their first combined tests with three riders, Jose Luis Cardoso, Marco Borciani and Miguel Praia. With ultimate fastest times from the test proving to be near meaningless in the poor weather conditions, local rider Cardoso nevertheless set competitive times while long term DFX employee Borciani and 2004 rookie Praia needed time may need time to make the transition to four-cylinder power, after their Ducati seasons in 2004.
Despite the absence of the official Fila Ducati squad from this unofficial test session, one Ducati rider put his name right in with the best - Lorenzo Lanzi. The 2004 factory Supersport rider makes the jump to Superbike in 2005, and at Valencia was running his Scuderia Caracchi 999 hard to set a 1'40.0 lap time. Affected by the weather as much as any other, Lanzi had an off on day one, saving his best lap for day two.
The PSG-1 Kawasaki team of Chris Walker and Mauro Sanchini doggedly lapped Valencia, as Walker attempted to overcome some issues of rear end performance on his 2005 machine. He tried different rear shocks and swingarms on his ZX-10, as he searched for a useable set-up to take to the next tests.
Giovanni Bussei was one of the many Kawasaki riders on display, setting a best of 1'40.9 on his big ZX. Alongside the World Superbike riders, Kawasaki racing also featured at Valencia, testing race kit parts for development purposes. The GMT endurance team had Davide Checa in attendance, running to a best of 1'40.1, an impressive result in such conditions.
Some expected top competitors in the 2005 Supersport battle had outings on their new machines, with Yamaha showing off its official entry, the Yamaha Motor Germany team, for the first time. New signing Broc Parkes and existing rider Kevin Curtain sang the praises of the new front end and engine response of the R6, with Curtain nonetheless limiting his lap count in the tricky conditions.
The Team Italia Megabike squad, not in possession of their new Hondas quite yet, had Fabien Foret and Michel Fabrizio lapping the 4km Valencia circuit. The fastest rider on show in Supersport was Gianluca Nannelli (Scuderia Caracchi Ducati 749) who set a lap of 1'41.3.
- Andrew Pitt: 1'40.5 Yamaha Italia
- Chris Walker: 1'41.5 Kawasaki PSG-1
- Giovanni Bussei: 1'40.9 ZX-10 Bertocchi
- Mauro Sanchini: 1'42.4 Kawasaki PSG-1
- Jose Luis Cardoso: 1'40.7 DFX Yamaha
- Sebastien Gimbert 1'40.8 Yamaha Motor France
- Miguel Praia: 1'43.7 DFX Yamaha
- Davide Checa: 1'40.1 GMT Endurance
- Lorenzo Lanzi: 1'40.0 SC Ducati 999
- Marco Borciani: 1'43.3 DFX Yamaha
- Stefan Nebel: 1'42.7
- Broc Parkes 1'42.00 Yamaha Motor Germany
- Kevin Curtain: 1'42.00 Yamaha Motor Germany
- Michel Fabrizio. 1'40.4 Team Italia Megabike Honda
- Gianluca Nannelli: 1'41.3 SC Ducati 749
- Fabien Foret: 1'45.00 Team Italia Megabike Honda
- Pere Riba: 1'45.00 Kawasaki
- Jurgen van den Goorbergh: No time given. SL Ducati 749.
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