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Rossi Tops The Timesheets At Jerez - November 30th 2006

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    The last MotoGP test of the season got underway at the Andalucian circuit of Jerez today, with unexpectedly cold temperatures delaying the start of activity until late morning for the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Unfortunately, it then began to rain soon after track temperatures had risen to suitable level and Rossi and Edwards, testing Yamaha's new prototype 800cc motorcycle side-by-side for the first time, were only able to complete a few laps in the dry.

    Rossi nonetheless topped the unofficial time sheets at the end of the day, posting a top time of 1'41.745 after 17 laps. Edwards was third fastest in the dry with a lap of 1'42.293 and the Texan also took the chance to try out his new bike in the wet, completing 36 laps in total before calling it a day. Sandwiched between the Yamaha pair was Suzuki rider John Hopkins, who set the second fastest time of 1'42.161 out of a total of 12 riders testing.

    Valentino Rossi (1st - 1'41.745, 16 laps);

    "I'm very happy to see that we have no chatter here, because we had quite a lot of problems in the first race last season. This is one of my favourite tracks and it's a great pleasure for me to be able to ride comfortably again at it; it feels like another track compared to last March! Our new bike seems to work well and so far I am very happy with it. Unfortunately we only had time for a few laps before the bad weather stopped us just when we were about to begin to test some different things, but anyway we have made a good start. Even though the bike is clearly going well for both Colin and I at the moment, we know that we have a lot of work to do and so these next two days are going to be very important to us. I have some new stickers on my bike and a new helmet; they're a reference to the legend of King Arthur and 'Excalibur'! I want to show everyone that we are ready to fight back and that we're ready to do our very best throughout these winter tests. Let's hope the weather is good tomorrow so we can begin our task properly!"

    Colin Edwards (3rd - 1'42.293, 35 Laps);

    "It was pretty cold this morning, not really what we were hoping for! We had to hang around until about 11.30 before it was warm enough to go out; it's not really such a great idea for us to ride when it's only 18 degrees on track! Once we finally got out there things actually felt pretty good straight away and I was happy with how the bike was adapting to a different track. We'd played around a bit with the geometry in Malaysia but I think that for here we probably need to go back a bit to what Valentino had originally, just to calm the bike down a little in some of the fast corners. Once it started raining we decided to get out there and do some laps in the wet, just to get an idea of how the new bike goes in the rain. I think that was the most productive thing we did all day because, once we were running without much traction in the wet, we could see that we do have a few issues to sort out with relation to the engine braking. We did about 15 laps in the rain, played around with a few settings and started to understand what was going on. It definitely hasn't been a wasted day, despite the weather, and we'll carry on tomorrow and see what we can do."

    Unofficial Lap Times

  1. 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha, 1'41.745
  2. 2. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki, 1'42.161
  3. 3. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha, 1'42.293
  4. 4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda, 1'44.030
  5. 5. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati, 1'44.307
  6. 6. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki, 1'44.394
  7. 7. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda, 1'44.876
  8. 8. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati, 1'45.574
  9. 9. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Honda, 1'46.200
  10. 10. Jeremy McWilliams (IRE) Ilmor, 1'47.216
  11. 11. Vittorio Guareschi (ITA) Ducati Test Rider, 1'50.386
  12. 12. Alex Barros (BRA) Ducati, 1'59.078