Ducati dominated the second day of testing at Phillip Island both with the qualifying tyres used on the satellite team version of Alex Barros and with race tyres, which were tested today by Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner while they continued their set-up work on the new GP7 machines.
There was satisfaction in the Ducati Marlboro Team camp, both for Loris Capirossi, who successfully tested the new Bridgestones, setting his best time of the day on race tyres, and for Casey Stoner, who completed two ten-lap long-runs at an excellent pace; the Australian used the same tyre each time and recorded the second quickest time of the day in race trim.
Tomorrow, the final day of the session before returning to Europe, the Ducati Marlboro Team is scheduled to test new qualifying tyres with both riders and also has in programme a race simulation for Loris Capirossi. The next tests scheduled for the team are in Qatar from 13-15 February.
Loris Capirossi (59 laps, best time 1m30.34s);
"Today was a positive day. We succeeded in completing the work load both regarding the tyres and the bike set-up. We have now reached a good balance and tomorrow, weather conditions permitting, we'll do a full race simulation. On this track we have always gone well, and I'm pleased that the GP7 has also shown that it adapts well to this circuit, which is one of my favourites. The new Bridgestone race tyres are a step ahead of the ones we had before here in September for the GP, which were already pretty good. Tomorrow we'll also be testing the new qualifying tyres".
Casey Stoner (54 laps, best time 1m30.39s);
"Today we made a big step forward. Of the two bikes I have available, I prefer one more than the other. We don't exactly know why, but the feeling is much better even when they have the same set-up. Unfortunately on this bike I had a minor technical problem that lost me a bit of time. After resolving the problem I then began to put in some good laps and I'm really pleased with my time and my pace. The tyres brought here by Bridgestone give a great feeling and are very constant. We're improving day by day and I'm happy with the progress".
Nicky Hayden, 1m 31.18s - 81 laps;
"We got in a pretty full day of testing today, working mainly on settings and trying to improve the bike geometry-wise. We were also confirming some of the things I liked from the test in Malaysia last week and checking they work on a totally different track under totally different conditions. The new 800cc bike is pretty fun to ride here - in a few of these corners you carry some serious speed. We realise we've got some work still to do but the bike feels a bit better here. We were cut short by the rain but we dodged a bullet because it looked like it could have rained a lot earlier. And we got a lot of data today for the boys to analyse - so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Alex Barros (1'30.010 - 75 laps):
"Today we continued the work we started yesterday, improving in particular the feel from the chassis. We have already reached a good general balance with the bike, but we continue to try different set-up solutions. For the rear, we tested some tires and found one th at works better. Our pace with race tires has improved, but we I know we can do better, and the qualifying Bridgestone allowed me to make a good time. The whole Team is working hard, and I'm convinced that we'll improve even more. I'm very satisfied with the staff ,the material at my disposition, and our wonderful results.
Alex Hofmann (1'30.600 - 70 laps):
"We did a good job, and I'm very happy for this reason. We made a lot of laps and we have improved the set-up. I have the right feeling with the rear and with the GP7 in general - this help me to do well. This track is one of my favorites and it's beautiful to have a good time that places me near the important names. We have more work to do, and tomorrow we are going to continue with the set-up and focus on the tires. We are heading in the right direction".
Dani Pedrosa, 1m 31.29s - 78 laps;
"We had a good first day here with this bike and the first impression is good. The day started sunny so we were able to complete plenty of laps, although it clouded over and the rain stopped us towards the end of the afternoon. The track here is very different to Sepang so we were able compare the things we found at the test last week and also work on the set-up for here because laptime is shorter and the circuit is more flowing. Today was useful and hopefully the weather will be good for the next two days."
Marco Melandri (99 laps, 1.30.70):
"I'm quite satisfied. I like the bike and today we focused on tyre testing. We completed an impressive 99 laps. We tested many tyres and now we have decided the line to follow. I didn't improve too much my lap time on a single lap but the race pace was good. In the morning we started with yesterday setting and I had a good feeling from the beginning, then, during the day, we tested some different set up solutions but we didn't got the results we wanted, this slowed down the work programme so I couldn't make further improvements in the lap time. From a physical point, the 800cc is quite demanding as the old 1000, in fact it is faster in the corner but it is has the same weight of the 1000cc".
Toni Elias (90 laps, 1.31.40):
"This morning we struggled a bit but then we found a good solution that allowed us to make a small step forward. We tested several tyres and found one that is good to my characteristics, this allowed me to improve also my feeling with the bike. Tomorrow we will keep on working in this direction and further improvements are expected. In fact it's very important to create a good base and find a good compromise for the Honda-Bridgestone package".
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minlota Honda (89 laps - 1'31.355");
"I'm very sorry for the team that I was not 100% fit yesterday and that I was not able to cover so many laps. Today I feel so much better and having been able to cover many more laps we have obtained lots of information that has led us to a finer set-up on the new Honda RC212V. Today we started to test the new Michelin front tyres and tomorrow this hard work will continue with some new rear tyres to find a good balance for the bike. I'm very happy about today's work, even if I know I'm far from my best lap time at this early stage in testing. The important thing is that at the moment my feeling with the bike is getting better and better and the communication with the staff in the team is improving daily and getting easier and easier. This is vital, as in testing it's not just the bike being developed, but the relationship in the team. At the moment, we are trying to make a good solid foundation for what we all know will be a fruitful collaboration for the future."
"Today was much better! We worked to adjust the chassis and the suspensions setting to
this track and we found a good base. In fact today I lapped constantly with a good pace improving
my lap time of one second. We tested some Michelin tyres with pretty good results and now I feel
more comfortable on the bike. I can easily say that the things are going in the right way and
tomorrow we will focus on the engine adjustment and the electronic parts. These two day were
pretty productive for us but the sad part regards the impact I had with a sea gull along the track
this morning. It hit the wind screen of my bike and also my arm when I was lapping at 210kmh of
speed. I couldn't' avoid it!".
- Phillip Island lap record: Marco Melandri (Honda) 2005, 1m30.332s
- Phillip Island pole record: Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2006, 1m29.020s
Temperature: air 24 / track 20 - 30 C.
Unofficial times - Wednesday 31 January:
- 1. Barros (Ducati), 1m30.00s (60 laps)
- 2. Capirossi (Ducati), 1m30.34s (59)
- 3. Stoner (Ducati), 1m30.39s (54)
- 4. Pedrosa (Honda), 1m30.44s (82)
- 5. Hofmann (Ducati), 1m30.60s (74)
- 6. Hayden (Honda), 1m30.61s (88)
- 7. Melandri (Honda), 1m30.74s (86)
- 8. Checa (Honda), 1m30.84s (100)
- 9. Vermeulen (Suzuki), 1m31.18s (75)
- 10. Nakano (Honda), 1m31.35s (89)
- 11. Elias (Honda), 1m31.51s (90)
- 12. Roberts Jr. (KR), 1m31.55s (94)
- 13. Hopkins (Suzuki), 1m31.63s (65)