“All in all I'm quite satisfied”
The Repsol Honda Team completed its third night test session at the Losail circuit in Qatar yesterday, with Andrea Dovizioso and his crew continuing to develop of the factory RC212V ahead of the season opener here in just over one month's
The Italian completed 74 laps of the 5.380km (3.343-mile) circuit during the 6-hour floodlit session and recorded his fastest time on his very last lap - a 1m 57.449s taking 0.4s off his best from Monday.
“All in all I'm quite satisfied with these three days of testing because we have learned a lot. Today's session didn't go exactly according to plan because after an hour we started to get some chatter, which complicated the session and meant we had to adapt our plan for the day”, he said. “I was able to do a longer run of 15 laps which showed that we still need to make some machine adjustments to suit the Bridgestone tyres. For this circuit specifically we need to improve the grip entering the turns, and in general find a smoother power delivery. There is still quite a lot of work to do, but I'm still pleased because we learned a lot about the bike at this test.”
His team-mate Dani Pedrosa was absent yesterday, having suffered a fall in which he damaged his left wrist and left knee. The Spaniard flew home in the morning, and further scans at hospital revealed that he has a fracture in his left radius bone. The unlucky Pedrosa will undergo an operation at 6pm today to insert a titanium screw to secure the break. He will also receive a small skin graft on the existing wound in his left knee, which was re-opened in yesterday's fall.
“For me this was a good test because we got a lot of detailed feedback from our riders, which will be valuable for us to make improvements in preparation for the next test in Jerez”, commented Team Manager Kazuhiko Yamano. “The machine set-up here is tricky because the test is held at night time, and also because we are in the desert and the sand on the track affects the grip. Still, these conditions are the same for all the teams of course. Dani's fall was really unfortunate, though if I'm looking on the positive side, I'd rather this happened in a test than during a race weekend. We hope he will be fit again as soon as possible - hopefully for the Jerez test. Some of our rivals are looking fast, so we're aiming to make some significant improvements at the next test.”
The next outing for the Repsol Honda Team is the televised official IRTA test at Jerez in southern Spain, which begins on Saturday 28 March.