The MotoGP paddock has made the journey down from Barcelona to Jerez, where the race atmosphere is beginning to set in. All the teams are present, with the first grand prix of the 2005 season beginning in less than two weeks time, and the three Irta test days which began today represent a perfect opportunity to prepare for the imminent race. Troy Bayliss, who rode well here in December, was suffering from a stomach bug which prevented him from sleeping properly last night, but nevertheless still showed his continued improvements on the RC211V. His teammate Alex Barros demonstrated his now customary pace and consistency, today completing a first race simulation of the year (27 laps) towards the end of the session.
Ramon Forcada - Camel Honda - (Alex Barros's crew chief)
Today we began by setting-up the bike, we've done a good job,
but we're only at the start of it. Doing a race simulation at the end, we realised that we need to improve the suspension settings, on the front and the rear from the tenth lap onwards. The overall time was satisfactory but we can do better, and we can only make comparisons to 2003 because it was a wet race last year, so the time really isn't too significant."
Alex Barros - Camel Honda - 1'41.637 (85 laps) 6th position
"I'm quite satisfied, even though you can't get the set-up one hundred percent after just the first day. Nevertheless I'm happy to have done a race simulation, the first of this year for me, and it allowed me to see how the bike behaved over long distance, something we will work on tomorrow if the weather allows us. The forecasts are for rain though, and that's why we did the simulation today, but there is still work to do on the frame and the electronics to be at our top level."
Santiago Mulero - Camel Honda (Troy Bayliss's crew chief)
"With respect to the test that we did here last December, the bike has changed significantly since then, especially in the electronics, so today we worked on that and the set-up of the rest of the bike. Troy went really quick with the 2004 bike and the enormous quantity of work done since then allowed us to go well on this first day of tests too. At the end he was satisfied, and now we only hope that it doesn't rain tomorrow, as the forecasts say, so we can continue working like this."
Troy Bayliss - Camel Honda - 1'42.058 (86 laps) 12th position
"Over the last couple of days I've been a bit ill, and luckily I seem to be a little better today, although I didn't sleep well last night. I'm quite tired, but together with the team I did all the work scheduled for today. It wasn't too bad for a first day; we worked on the set-up and on specific settings for certain areas of the bike, mostly electronic ones, which have changed since we were here in December. The tyres are different now too, so in general I think we've done a good job today."