A second day of testing in Malaysia today saw the Yamaha Factory Racing Team continue to come on in leaps and bounds with the development of their new prototype 800cc motorcycle. With rain threatening for tomorrow's third and final day of testing, both Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards elected to take advantage of clear skies and complete their long-run today, the first for either rider on the new bike. Initial feedback was good and Rossi especially was very pleased with the performance of his Yamaha under race conditions. Edwards, who was trying a different set-up and tyre package to his team-mate in order to gather as much information as possible for Yamaha's engineers and Michelin, was less comfortable during his long-run, but importantly was able to identify some of the key areas in which the team still need to focus their attention over the coming tests.
Both riders improved on their times from yesterday, with Edwards dipping under the old 990cc lap record pace with a fastest lap of 2'01.930, set during the morning on race tyres. He was just behind Suzuki's John Hopkins, who topped the unofficial time sheets for the second day running in a time of 2'01.806. Rossi posted the fifth fastest time of the day after completing 57 laps, with a time of 2'02.619. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will complete their final day of this first test tomorrow.
Colin Edwards (Position: 2nd) Time: 2'01.930, Laps: 60;
"I'm not sure if it's to do with the fact that I'm getting old, or just that I've been off the bike for six weeks, but this week it seems that I'm much stronger in the morning than in the afternoon! The morning felt really good today, Michelin had me working in one direction and Valentino in another and I was quite excited about how everything was feeling and about the times I was able to do. I did my best time on a race tyre and it was coming pretty easily. Michelin have worked seriously hard over the winter and the new front tyres they're bringing us are just getting better and better, so congratulations to them. This afternoon was much harder and it was pretty hot out there too. The package I used for the long-run wasn't so good, it definitely wasn't the right direction for the rear tyre and it was hard work for me. Anyway Valentino's package worked well and that's why we're here after all - to work out what does work and what doesn't! It's given us some clear answers and now we can use tomorrow to double check what we've learned this week and finish on a good note."
Valentino Rossi (Position: 5th) Time: 2'02.619, Laps: 57;
"Today I made my first long-run with the new bike, because I was worried about the weather for tomorrow. It was important to be able to see the level of the bike over a long distance, so we didn't want to risk waiting for the last day. I am very happy about how it went; the performance of the bike and tyres was very good. We still need to improve the braking a bit, but I am sure it will get better as we continue to work on the set-up. The temperature at noon was very high and the sun felt like a sword beating down on my helmet, but it was still great fun and I really enjoyed myself! Of course with the 990cc bike the top speed was a bit faster, but overall with the new bike the pace on a long-run isn't so different, because it puts less stress on the tyres so their performance remains higher for longer. The physical effort is similar for both bikes, and I feel very motivated after the long-run today. We tested the 16" front tyre today; we still need to work more on this, but the initial feeling is very good and the handling is a bit better with it. The bike is more stable in the corner and therefore I have more confidence. I think in the end it could be a good solution, but we need more time to be sure. Tomorrow we have other tyres to test and we will just continue to work on the general set-up of the bike."
Davide Brivio - Team Director;
"It has been another good day for us here in Malaysia. Every day we understand more and more about our new bike and we gain more experience about the right way to work and ride with this new 800cc Yamaha. Today both riders made a long-run, which is always an important indication of how we are progressing. Valentino's was very positive and we gathered a lot of important information from it. Colin had more difficulty and showed some of the problem areas we need to work on, but he also gained positives from today and his best time this morning was very fast. Of course we've got a lot of work to do, but that is the reason for testing! Tomorrow we will continue like this, working on the set-up of our bike and also testing some new tyres for Michelin."
Nicky Hayden Best laptime: 2m 02.948s - 82 laps;
"We actually learned quite a lot about how the new bike works today and we improved by almost half a second so it's nice to see some progress. We weren't testing new parts from HRC, just working with suspension, wheelbase, springs - general settings stuff to try and get the bike a little bit quicker. We definitely improved the bike and learned some more about how it works and reacts to different settings and conditions. We're still some way off where we need to be though so we've got to keep our heads down and keep working really hard."
Dani Pedrosa Best laptime: 2m 03.098 - 70 laps;
"Today we worked hard on many different ways to improve the bike. With testing there are always some things that work and some that don't work so it was a useful day even though we didn't set a very fast laptime. Unfortunately I made a small mistake on the brakes into the slow left-hander at turn nine - I was a little off-line and lost the front, but it wasn't a big crash, just a human mistake. Tomorrow we will try to go a little quicker and we'll also be working with Michelin on some tyre testing."
Alex Barros (2'02.538 - 54 l aps):
"Today is going very well, and we have made significant improvements on yesterday. Thanks to the suspension and general set-up modifications, I have felt more confident in the GP7 which has allowed me to push harder and reduce the lap times. We have worked on the posterior trying different tires individualizing a better one; with the front I feel very well. The electronics has been further optimized and I'm very satisfied at the end of this test day. Tomorrow we'll work in particular on the tires and rear ".
Marco Melandri (76 laps, 2.03.253):
"It was a demanding day. The temperatures were very high and we worked no stop to finish today's programme. We struggled a bit in the morning but in the end we find a solution that I like. We tested different set up solutions and studied the geometry of the bike before starting to test tyres. I'm quite satisfied , the clutch has improved and I have a better feeling now. Tomorrow we will focus on tyre testing. I'm confident,.I see the Honda Engineers and the Bridgestone technicians very motivated".
Toni Elias (75 laps, 2.04.124):
"Today we focused on tyre testing without making too many changes on chassis and suspensions. We tested many variations, rear tyres and front tyres, in order to find the right solution for the Honda- Bridgestone package. It has been a tough day but I'm happy and confident. At this moment of the year is important to work step by step, because we need to understand how the new bike works with these new tyres. Tomorrow we will continue the tyre testing while in Australia we will go back working on the setting of the bike".
Alex Hofmann (2'03.895 - 26 laps):
"Unfortunately, today hasn't been a good day; I have had stomach's problems which have not allowed me to run as I had would have liked to. I was at 50%, for this reason we haven't done as much work as I would have liked tot. We have lowered the time thanks to the general set-up modifications. I haven't tried the tires because I' wasn't at 100%. I hope to feel better tomorrow because we have a lot of work to get through "
Shinya Nakano - Konica Minolta Honda
"Most time of the time today was dedicated to testing some new Michelin front tyres. Unfortunately it was difficult to get confidence in the front-end of the bike and I struggled a lot with chatter from the front of the bike. Because of this I was not able to keep up the corner speed you need with these new 800cc machines. Apart from this, as a team I can see that we are working in the right direction to solve this problem. Compared to my first test on the new bike in Jerez I have a much better feeling with the 212V and I'm starting to get used to the Honda, even if I have many new things to learn on this bike! Many other riders have recorded good times today, but I'm not worried, I'm concentrating on finding a good base setting for the new 212V and from there we will work on getting a good lap time. I know some riders are struggling with the fact that the new 800cc machines are much smaller than the 990cc bikes, but my feeling is that I'm very happy with the smaller, more compact size of the RC212V as it suits me very well."
Checa: "Basically all the Honda riders have the same difficulties but we are working hard to fit the
bike and I am pretty confident for the future. The last two years I raced on different bikes with
different tyres and need more time to adapt to the new bike. I put more miles on the bike today
testing different tyres with Michelin but we still miss something to be faster especially in the
exacting part of the track".
Unofficial lap times:
- 1. John Hopkins, Rizla Suzuki - 2m 01.806s
- 2. Colin Edwards, Yamaha - 2m 01.930s
- 3. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki - 2m 02.275s
- 4. Alex Barros, D'Antin Ducati - 2m 02.538s
- 5. Valentino Rossi, Yamaha - 2m 02.619s
- 6. Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team - 2m 02.793s
- 7. Randy de Puniet, Kawasaki Racing - 2m 02.806s
- 8. Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team - 2m 02.948s
- 9. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team - 2m 03.098s
- 10. Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team - 2m 03.190s
- 11. Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda - 2m 03.253s
- 12. Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda - 2m 03.633s
- 13. Carlos Checa, LCR Honda - 2m 03.681s
- 14. Kenny Roberts, Jr Team Roberts Honda - 2m 03.800s
- 15. Alex Hofmann, D'Antin Ducati - 2m 03.895s
- 16. Toni Elias, Gresini Honda - 2m 04.124s
- 17. Olivier Jacque, Kawasaki Racing - 2m 04.171s
- 18. Makoto Tamada, Tech 3 Yamaha - 2m 04.350s