The second day of the Jerez IRTA Tests began with heavy rain and Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards spent the morning doing some worthwhile wet-weather testing on the soaked track. The rain eased off as the day wore on and by mid afternoon the Spanish sun had appeared and, coupled with a brisk wind, had dried the track enough for the riders to go back out on slick tyres and put in some faster times. Rossi and Edwards continued to test tyres and work on set-up and finished the day seventh and ninth fastest.
The riders were pleased with the performance of their new 2005-spec YZR-M1s in the wet conditions. Both the world champion and his new team-mate made the most of the better conditions later on and continued testing right up to the six o'clock deadline, although with the track still slightly slippery, none of the 22 MotoGP riders were able to better their times from yesterday.
Despite placing 13th and 14th respectively both Fortuna Yamaha Team riders Ruben Xaus and Toni Elias were happy with their progress today - taking advantage of the wet conditions to familiarize themselves with the YZR-M1's wet set-up. Elias also had another reason to smile as it's the Spanish youngsters 22nd birthday.
The fastest rider of the day was Shinya Nakano, who posted a time of 1'42.112 on his Kawasaki. Honda rider Nicky Hayden was under a tenth of a second slower with a time of 1'42.139. Sete Gibernau (Honda, 1'42.278) was third and Suzuki rider John Hopkins, fastest yesterday, was fourth today with a lap of 1'42.359. Rossi completed 42 laps, setting his best on the 39th in a time of 1'42.710, just inside the existing lap record of 1'42.788 but slower than his time from yesterday of 1'41.273. Edwards, who posted a time of 1'42.018 during yesterday's session, recorded a best time today of 1'43.095 on the 55th of 57 laps.
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'42.710
"I was really pleased to get the chance to try the bike in the wet and I was very happy with the level we were at in the rain. The afternoon was drier but we were not quite as good as yesterday; we tried out a different rear tyre, but it didn't really help. Still, it was important to try and I am glad because we've learnt something from testing it. As a result, we were slower this afternoon but still not bad, and I was more or less happy. I hope that tomorrow it will be dry so we can go back to the settings we had yesterday and make the final alterations we need before we come back here for the first race in two weeks time."
Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'43.095
"I was really happy with the bike in the rain, and I think we were about 90% right with it. All the electrical aspects and the settings were good. The track was a little bit slippery this afternoon after the sun came out, but in some ways that was good because it exaggerated some of the small problems we still have. Now we know what we need to do about them tomorrow and, hopefully, how to fix them. The most important thing for us tomorrow is to find more traction."
Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi's crew chief
"We've known since we got here that there was a risk of rain today and so we were prepared for it this morning. Unfortunately it didn't rain for long enough to do everything that we wanted, but we were more than happy with the performance of the bike and rider in those conditions. The package worked okay and there certainly weren't any big issues."
Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'43.756
"I went out early to take advantage of the opportunity to test a wet set-up, just in case the race is wet when we come back in a fortnight. I was happy with the feel I got from the bike in these conditions, but it was good to get back on a dry track this afternoon because with the start of the season so close I didn't want to take too many risks."
Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'43.813
"It was a strange day. With these conditions we couldn't test everything we had planned in the schedule, but I was good to spend some time on the bike in the wet. I just hope that tomorrow is dry so we can do a race simulation. This will be crucial to ensure we've made the most of this pre-season."
Official times -day 2:
- 1. Nakano (Kawasaki) 1'42.112
- 2. Hayden (Honda) 1'42. 139
- 3. Gibernau (id.) 1'42.218
- 4.Hopkins (Suzuki) 1'42.359
- 5. Melandri (Honda) 1'42.573
- 6. Hoffmann (Kawasaki) 1'42.699
- 7.Rossi (Yamaha) 1'42.710
- 8. Roberts (Suzuki) 1'43.083
- 9. Edwards (Yamaha) 1'43.095
- 10.Bayliss (Honda) 1'43.130
- 11. Barros (Honda) 1'43.328
- 12. Biaggi (id.) 1'43.559
- 13. Xaus (Yamaha) 1'43.756
- 14. Elias (Yamaha) 1'43.813
- 15. Guareschi (Ducati test) 1'44.357
- 16.Aoki (Suzuki test) 1'44.885
- 17. Rolfo (Ducati) 1'45.087
- 18. Capirossi (Ducati) 1'46.198
- 19.Byrne (Proton) 1'46.467
- 20. Battaini (Blata WCM) 1'47.410
- 21. Tamada (Honda) 1'56.617
- 22. Ellison (Blata WCM) 1'58.494