As MotoGP takes a break
Dani Pedrosa today concluded the three day Jerez test, and thus the MotoGP activity for 2007, at the top of the timesheets after another fastest lap of the day.
The Spaniard, whose 2007 season proper ended with victory on home soil at Valencia,
dropped under the 1'39s barrier for the first time at the Southern Spanish circuit towards the end of the day. His 1'38.562 lap, nearly nine tenths of a second faster than his pole position time for last season's race at Jerez, came just after team-mate Nicky Hayden had also completed a successful run onboard the 2008 Repsol Honda RC212V.
Hayden had been the first rider to go round in under 1'39s, and ends what has been a frustrating year for the 2006 World Champion in high spirits. He and Pedrosa were both trying out Michelin qualifiers for their fastest efforts, on a day in which the majority of the regular riders bettered their times from the previous two.
Determined to succeed in his move up to MotoGP, 250cc World Champion Jorge Lorenzo took a huge step forward at the track where he has won in the quarter litre class for the past two seasons. The Spaniard not only improved on his times with the Yamaha M1, but he also undertook a marathon race simulation which left even himself impressed. As he did at his first public MotoGP test in Valencia, Lorenzo also tested out the capabilities of his factory Yamaha machine for pulling wheelies, rounding off his year in style and with third in the Jerez test timesheets.
Following his former 250cc rival, Andrea Dovizioso was also in fine form onboard the JiR Team Scot Honda today.
The Italian has, like Lorenzo, made a quick adaptation to 800cc riding, although he put in significantly less laps than his nemesis, who did in the region of 80 at the Jerez circuit.
Several riders drew their day to an early close, the most notable of which being Valentino Rossi. The Italian was never really on the pace during the final day of testing, citing a lack of strength in his recently injured hand as a limiting factor on his session. The factory Yamaha rider's former team-mate Colin Edwards also made his best efforts to beat the traffic heading out of Jerez, bringing his day of testing with new team Yamaha Tech 3 to an end just before 4pm local time.
MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner played no part in today's proceedings, having flown home to Australia for treatment on torn ligaments in his left shoulder. The 22 year-old's injury had been caused by a crash suffered yesterday afternoon. Today only Randy de Puniet took a tumble, albeit extremely early in the day and with no effect on his ability to complete a full day's work.
MotoGP now takes a break from testing over December, before returning at the end of January in Sepang.
MotoGP Jerez Test - Times: Day Three
1.Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'38.562
2. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 1'38.848
3. Jorge Lorenzo - Fiat Yamaha 1'39.464
4. Andrea Dovizioso - JiR Scot 1'39.747
5. Shinya Nakano - Honda Gresini 1'40.121
6. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Tech3 1'40.184
7. Alex De Angelis - Honda Gresini 1'40.185
8. James Toseland - Yamaha Tech3 1'40.213
9. Randy de Puniet - Honda LCR 1'40.398
10. John Hopkins - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.984
11. Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha 1'41.538
12. Marco Melandri - Ducati Marlboro 1'41.619
13. Taddy Okada - Repsol HRC 1'41.715
14. Niccolo Canepa - Ducati Marlboro 1'41.793
15. Anthony West - Kawasaki Racing 1'42.343
16. Vittoriano Guareschi - Ducati Marloro 1'42.850
17. Shinichi Ito - Bridgestone Team 1'43.001
DORNA / CAPSIS International