Today marked the start of the three-day Australian MotoGP test at the Phillip Island circuit, near Melbourne.
Andrea Dovizioso and his JiR Team Scot squad enjoyed a very positive first day with Andrea further getting to grips with the Honda RC212V machine
that he will race in the 2008 MotoGP championship and securing the fourth fastest time of the day.
Despite previously not enjoying the mile circuit on the smaller capacity 125 and 250cc two-stroke machines that he's used to, the 21-year-old Italian found that he loved the circuit and its blend of fast corners and gradient changes much more than previously, thanks in part to the extra power from the four-stroke 800cc machine.
The track was in excellent conditions today, with very good Tarmac condition and weather which – although a little windy – was otherwise very good for testing.
Such was the progress of Dovi and his team that they were able to put in 80 laps of the circuit and complete the day's work and end the session an hour earlier than anticipated. The test continues tomorrow and Friday.
“I'm very satisfied with today's progress. This was a very positive day from the technical point of view and also from the riding point of view. I arrived in Phillip Island a little bit apprehensive as in 250 and 125s I never found myself comfortable on the track and I never enjoyed it too much. With the 800 it's fantastic! I love to go around on the track and it's very good going into those fast, long corners getting the bike sliding a lot, too! I still have some small problems in braking at the rear, which is affecting the lap time a little. The whole thing doesn't bother me too much and we will find a solution. I'm adapting my riding position on the bike, but I would like to have foot-pegs a little to the rear, so we shall change this. Today I concentrated very hard on the track to give a good performance and I'm happy that I have done this. The next two days will be full of intense and very hard work, where the team and myself will work hard with Michelin and try and find the optimum setting for the chassis.”
Gianni Berti - Technical Coordinator, JiR Team Scot
“The programme of the first day at Phillip Island was to put Andrea in the most confident frame of mind with both the bike and the track especially as the circuit isn't a favourite of Andrea's in the smaller capacity classes.
So, overall we're pretty satisfied that we were able to work very well on the general setting of the bike, particularly the setting of the suspension and by testing different Michelin tyres. We had the bike in the same technical configuration that we had in Malaysia. We still have a small problem with engine braking, which still needs to be solved. We shall aim to do this in the next two days. We have enjoyed good weather conditions despite a light wind and in some areas of track this can be affect the rider. Andreas was able to do 80 laps and he ended his testing day one hour before the end of the official session, which shows how satisfied we were with the work completed today.”
JiR Team Scot