Troy Bayliss's love affair with the Valencia circuit continued as the Australian set the quickest time on both qualifying (1m34.102s) and race tyres (1m34.482s) in the two-day official FGSport tests at the Spanish venue. His quickest time, obtained with just a few minutes to go, was half-a-second faster than the circuit's official outright best lap set by Neil Hodgson (Ducati) in 2003, but four-tenths of a second off Troy's own extraordinary performance in testing exactly one year ago.
"It's one year later and I'm going slower so I must be getting old!" joked Troy after today's extremely windy marathon session. "I've had some pretty good results here in the past as you know, and yesterday morning we got pretty much onto the pace straightaway. In the afternoon the track got a lot warmer and had a lot of wind and we struggled quite a bit. So we really worked hard today and came up with a couple of things in the afternoon and that got me more comfortable and I just leave the test very happy. If we did the race now I'd probably use the tyre I raced on last year because it's very consistent, but who knows what things are like in a month's time. The team worked really hard this weekend and it was a good shake-down both to get me ready for Donington and to give us a good starting-point for the race here in April."
Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi was quickest out of the box today and the Italian stayed at the top of the timesheets for much of the day's five hours of circuit action, but was edged out of the second spot towards the end by Ruben Xaus (Ducati).
"This morning I started off well immediately and was quickest for most of the day" commented Lorenzo. "I did the time with a race tyre because I managed to ruin my qualifying lap and then seeing as the track conditions were getting worse, I decided to keep the second qualifier for the afternoon. Today we did a great job, testing a lot of things and I'm pleased because we are on the right track. Then in the last quarter of an hour I put softer tyres on and started to lap quicker but when it was time to use the qualifier the weather conditions suddenly changed bringing strong winds and dust on the track, and then Ruben and Troy got ahead of me. However I'm still pretty happy with my performance despite not going as quick as I did in November when the conditions were better."
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team);
"We tried a few new links on the back of the bike and it has definitely made the bike better and easier to ride. It doesn't seem to matter which tyres we got today because none of them seemed to work over race distance any better than the others. We found an improvement in the mapping to improve the response in the midrange, even if it is still a bit too flat in that area. Overall the test was not so bad and we tried some different brakes and callipers as well - and they were better. We have a pretty good bike set-up around here, we just need to get the tyres matched up in terms of compound. I think everyone else is in the same boat."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team);
"I found a good front tyre here, but I cannot take too much satisfaction away from these two days. I tried a lot of different settings but this morning I had two crashes, one on the left side and one on the right side. We continued to work a lot on the suspension and the linkage but I could not find a really good feeling. The wind really did not help me as well. But I had good confidence with my qualifying tyres, better than in Phillip Island and Qatar races. But we still have a lot of work to do on the suspension when we get here for the race."
- 1. Bayliss T. Ducati 1'34.102
- 2. Xaus R. Ducati 1'34.565
- 3. Lanzi L. Ducati 1'34.584
- 4. Biaggi M. Suzuki 1'34.708
- 5. Corser T. Yamaha 1'34.851
- 6. Haga N. Yamaha 1'35.029
- 7. Nieto F. Kawasaki 1'35.410
- 8. Muggeridge K. Honda 1'35.470
- 9. Neukirchner M. Suzuki 1'35.532
- 10. Laconi R. Kawasaki 1'35.639