Dani Pedrosa relives his World Championship 250cc win three months ago in the saddle of his new Repsol Honda RC211V. After their initial training in Malaysia and a few days' rest, Repsol Honda Team riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden resumed their training schedule today at the charismatic Phillip Island circuit in southern Australia. The weather was good on the first day of practice, allowing the team to take full advantage of the day.
Faced with tomorrow's possibility of rain, both Dani and Nicky chalked up as many laps as possible - Nicky with 114 for 507 km and Dani with 111 for 494 km on the MotoGP Honda here for the first time. Dani is progressing satisfactorily on the quick Australian track, where it's hard to manoeuvre such a fast bike due to the wind.
Nicky Hayden continued working on developing the new Honda RC211V 2006, and was satisfied with the improvements gained on this track, which is one of his favourites and the backdrop of last year's second-place win.
Nicky worked on different suspension forks and chassis geometry settings, while Dani rode the technically demanding track with different front Michelins.
Nicky Hayden said "We didn't have much time to rest after the Sepang sessions, but it's good to be here and work with the bike on such a different layout. The weather was good and today's laps were looking for the best settings for this circuit before tomorrow's rain forecast. I'm happy with some of the things we've tried - they worked for us in Malaysia and they've worked for us here, too. Now we can eliminate some of the possible chassis geometries and other stuff, and get a better idea of the material available for 2006. At the end of the day I did six or seven laps with the bike we tried in Brno and with used tyres, and we also worked on finding the right forks for better braking stability."
Dani Pedrosa said "Although we did a lot of laps today, this track is less tiring than Sepang; it's not as long and the weather isn't as hot. It's also a bit more dangerous, because the bike's front wheel rises at the end of the straightaway at 320 km/h. I took it easy on the first few laps, but we improved during the day and that's important. The rear wheel skids a lot here, especially around the last two bends, but that also happened with the 250cc. We tried out some front Michelins today, and spent most of the day concentrating on getting in as much distance as possible, so it's been a good first day."