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MotoGP - Positive Balance For Repsol Honda Team Riders In Australia - February 2nd 2006

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    Dani Pedrosa continues covering kilometres on the saddle of his new bike. Nicky Hayden, despite suffering a heavy crash today, continues with the development of the new RC211V.

    Third and last test day for the Repsol Honda Team on Australian ground, and they will be going back home after this second test of the year with a fully satisfying balance. This second 2006 preseason test finished today at the Phillip Island, under clear skies and with little wind, giving the riders a chance to enjoy after the previous rainy days. The track was dirty and slippery as a consequence of yesterday's rainfalls, but the grip on the track improved as the rubber was sticking to the asphalt.

    Yesterday it had been Dani Pedrosa who had suffered a light crash on the first corner of the track and today it was Nicky Hayden who suffered the most relevant incident, having to quit the test after a crash which, despite causing him no injury, hindered him from continuing with the work that had been planned by the team. The intention was basically to carry out a race simulation and some laps on qualifying tyres, though they eventually could not do it due to the incident. However, the North American rider managed to cover 95 laps -422 kilometres-; his fastest lap time being 1'30"90 at a good pace.

    The most positive aspect of the day was Dani Pedrosa carrying out his best test since his debut on the Honda RC211V so far. The fastest lap time set by the Repsol rider on race tyres was 1'31"10, on a track which Dani considers to be the most complicated of the world championship. Pedrosa did tyre tests for Michelin, and after covering 96 laps -427 kilometres-, he managed to improve his fastest time from Tuesday by four tenths of a second.

    The Repsol Honda Team will be back into action on February 14, to carry out three further test days at the Malayan circuit of Sepang.

    Nicky Hayden: "We needed to lap on the dry and I think that everything went fine today despite the crash in the afternoon. We did some laps on used tyres in the morning and some tyre tests for Michelin in the afternoon; I liked some of the rear tyres a lot. Once I was ready for the Grand Prix simulation, I lost the front end and crashed. It wasn't a heavy crash, but I was being very fast and we decided to stop the test. I felt comfortable yesterday in the wet as well and that's important; everybody knows that I had some trouble in the wet last year".

    Dani Pedrosa: "We've had at least one good day. The temperature has been very good and it allowed us to do a very complete test. I think that we've done a good job today, because this is the most difficult circuit for me and having a bit of experience is very, very important for the Grand Prix. Moreover, we will be coming to Australia towards the end of the season and we'll feel more at ease and have more experience on the bike by then. We've been able to work a lot since early in the morning, especially doing tyre tests for Michelin and we finally achieved a good configuration. I'm very happy with how everything worked out here, we've been able to test the bike calmly on the circuit and we've gathered good data for the race".