It's been the first of the three testing days on the Jerez circuit for the MotoGP riders and the countdown for the first Grand Prix of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix on April 10th has started. The weather respected the first MotoGP test day, although the forecasts are not very optimistic for the next two days. With pleasant temperatures and gusts of wind of up to 11 Km/h, the 22 riders present -two testers, Guareschi and Aoki, included- have been able to lap from early in the morning on a completely dry track, unlike their colleagues of the 250cc class on the previous days.
The first session had a good and bad side for the Repsol Honda team riders. North American rider Nicky Hayden, set the second fastest time behind a surprising John Hopkins on his Suzuki, and covered a total of 90 laps on the Andalusian track. Behind the North American tandem, Rossi set the third fastest time with Gibernau on fourth place.
The bad side was today for the Italian rider Max Biaggi, who after the good performance in Barcelona did not have a good start in Jerez, setting the fifteenth fastest time after a total of 88 laps. The almost one and a half second separating him from his teammate show that something did go wrong for Biaggi who complains about problems with the engine brake of his bike, which are hindering him from riding comfortable and confidently on the entries and exits of the corners. The Roman will make use of the two remaining test days before the first Grand Prix to put the situation in order.
Nicky Hayden: "We've made a race simulation and I'm really satisfied with the result".
Nicky Hayden 2nd, 1'41.045, 90 laps: "It's been a good day. Considering that I had trouble getting speed in Barcelona, being here among the top riders from the beginning feels really good. We've made a race simulation and I'm really satisfied with the result. We still have a couple of days ahead, but it's been positive to have good weather. We don't know what's going to happen the next days. I cannot control the weather, although I'd prefer it if it doesn't rain to continue improving. If it rains, who knows, maybe it does in two weeks during the race as well, so we better get ready. We'll come back tomorrow to keep on working hard and improving, but we're not far in general terms. Jerez is the first Grand Prix of the year, so if everything continues like this it'll be very positive."
Max Biaggi 15th, 1'43.508, 88 laps: "Sincerely, it's been a bad day. After Barcelona, where we managed to be among the top three quite easily, we tried to adapt the set-up to this circuit. It was a set-up that had worked in all of the circuits we've been so far, so we thought that it would work here as well, but it didn't. We've tested endless changes on the bike to be competitive, but we couldn't, we've been between place ten and fifteenth all the time. That's why I think that it's not a problem of tyres, or suspensions or chassis, but a problem with something I cannot control, such as the electronic management of the engine. Entering and exiting corners has been critical today; I could neither brake nor accelerate. I tried to push hard today, but the time sheets didn't reflect it and therefore I'm quite worried. I don't care if it rains or not, I want to solve our problems. I hope to find solutions tomorrow, because it's really strange, almost incredible, seeing me one second and a half behind my teammate. I really hope it's been a mistake."