Violent downpour over the Circuit de Catalunya during an eventful third day. Nicky Hayden shows his competitiveness on the wet setting the second fastest time.
The cold weather and intense rain showers took over the Catalan layout today, turning this first day of confrontation in the MotoGP class into a lacklustre performance. Looking at the bad weather conditions, with wind blowing, rain and very low temperatures, hardly any rider decided to get out on the tack in the morning. The 40 timed minutes started at 14.05h in order to see which of the riders was fastest, and who would get the convertible as a reward for it. Right after the track was opened for the timed tests, Ellison, Hopkins and Roberts were the first to start to clock their times. Of these three riders only Ellison finished the session undamaged, while the North American riders Hopkins and Roberts ended up in the gravel. Roberts crashed while braking at the La Caixa corner, exactly the same place where Rossi and Checa would crash shortly after.
In the view of the many crashes, Repsol Honda Team rider Nicky Hayden preferred to take things easy and dose his laps keeping a wide safety margin. In a last fast lap, with the chequered flag already waving, the North American set the second fastest time behind Colin Edwards, who was fastest today and was awarded with the car.
Dani Pedrosa didn't want to take part in any kind of dispute, preferring to stay out of the fight for the best clock to get the prize awarded by BMW. In Pedrosa's own words, the riders who thought that they had chances fought for it, but he preferred to stay completely out of it.
Dani Pedrosa: "We were hoping to test a couple of things that we had analysed deeply yesterday but it rained. I didn't want to lap under these conditions, but in the end I went onto the track with twenty minutes left and I made four laps. I guess some riders made the effort to get the car, but not me. Let's hope that things work out better in Jerez because this will be the last test before the first race. It's been cold and the tyres didn't get warm enough, but it's been a further experience we were missing and a situation we are going to find for sure in the first races.. though not in Qatar I guess. I haven't been able to do a race simulation yet...I don't know what is happening but there is no way to do it, I guess that if we can, we will have to do it the first day in Jerez, or else I'm afraid I won't be able to do it until the first race."
Nicky Hayden: "We've had a good feeling on the wet. We started the session very slowly but we did some important changes to increase safety and I manage to improve my times. I've worked a lot on the wet this winter, and that's good because I had a lot of problems on the wet last year, so it's good to see that the work has bore fruit and that at least I've been able to clock a good time. We've found some promising solutions. There's still a lot left to do, but I feel that we're on the right way. I'll keep on working hard getting ready. There are only three test days left and it's not much time, but I think that we'll be ready."