Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, 23rd January. The 2005 season began today for the two Camel Honda riders Troy Bayliss and Alex Barros, who are preparing for their first and tenth seasons respectively with the Japanese factory in the premier class. Their approach therefore differed accordingly on the first of three days of tests at this first outing of the preseason. Alex Barros, who got straight down to the business of setting fast times on a bike he knows well, was the third quickest rider on the day and the fastest Honda, quickly finding a set-up for his RC211V and ending the session at the planned time of 1700h. Meanwhile, Troy Bayliss made use of an extra hour to understand and adapt to the bike in just his third test. The weather was warm and dry, without too much humidity.
Ramon Forcada - Camel Honda - (Chief technician for Alex Barros)
"I'm happy with the work we've done on the bike because we've completed the programme of set-up work we decided on yesterday, without any interruptions and improving step by step. So now we're ready for the work we have to do tomorrow, which will be different tyre and suspension tests. Alex was particularly concentrated and determined, quick from the first lap and consistent from then on, continually improving. The time is very good, particularly because we didn't use a qualifier or even a soft tyre, just race tyres."
Alex Barros - Camel Honda - 2'02.71 (52 laps)
"I'm happy, Things went better today than I had expected after two months spent a long way from the bike. I thought I'd have to spend more time getting used to it again but in fact I felt comfortable straight away. That meant I was able to work on a lot of different settings for my RCV, from engine braking to the clutch, acceleration and front brakes. We didn't do any tyre work but we'll do that tomorrow. I am really satisfied with the times that I set because I was consistently faster than I was at the GP here in October, right from the morning. It really is a good start to the test."
Santiago Mulero - Camel Honda (Chief technician for Troy Bayliss)
"We've worked a lot today, using all the time available in the session to get Troy in the best possible conditions to understand the bike at this circuit, which is very different to Jerez and Valencia in terms of both the track layout and the climatic conditions. We did a lot of work on the suspension to improve traction, the point that Troy wanted to concentrate most on. We've gathered a lot of data and over the next two days I'm sure we will find the perfect set-up".
Troy Bayliss - Camel Honda - 2'04.8 (80 laps)
"I still haven't found the feeling I had at the previous tests with the RC211V but I think that's pretty normal considering how different the conditions are. At the moment I'm trying to find better traction and the data we gathered today will help us to continue working tomorrow, when we will also combine suspension and tyre tests."