“This test is for leaving 125cc behind”
As the MotoGP riders carried out their first post-season laps on the new 800cc machines, there were also some new faces and regular riders in the 250cc class taking to the track at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit yesterday.
2005 125cc World Champions Alvaro Bautista and Thomas Luthi made their move up to the quarter litre category on Aprilia bikes, whilst two-time runner up Mika Kallio was also changing cylinder classes at the Spanish track.
Other debutants were Imre Toth and Karel Abraham, alongside Wurth Honda BQR's Pablo Nieto. Riders with prior experience in the class were also undertaking laps, with Alex de Angelis topping the timesheets. The winner of last weekend's Grand Prix edged out Hiroshi Aoyama by three tenths of a second. 2006 runner-up Andrea Dovizioso was joined by HRC Test rider Gaku Kamada in the Honda ranks to complete the line-up.
Bautista was the fastest of the new riders, and was welcomed to the 250cc category with the sixth fastest time of the day and an early crash. "You really notice the power of the bike when it comes to accelerating. The changes of direction are slower than in 125cc and I really enjoyed the bike," commented Bautista afterwards.
"This test is for leaving 125cc behind and learning how to ride a 250cc bike. This morning I suffered a stupid crash because I was overconfident. When we changed the tyres I didn't wear them in enough before opening the throttle.
Luckily nothing happened and it will make me more attentive next time," he concluded.
Valencia 250cc – 01/11/06: (unofficial times)
1. Alex De Angelis (Aprilia) 1'35.6 (72 laps)
2. Hiroshi Aoyama (KTM) 1'35.90 (85 laps)
3. Álex Debón (Aprilia) 1'36.5 (61 laps)
4. Mika Kallio (KTM) 1'36.70 (66 laps)
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1'37.0 (37 laps)
6. Álvaro Bautista (Aprilia) 1'37.4 (58 laps)
7. Thomas Lüthi (Honda) 1'37.4 (80 laps)
8. Karel Abraham (Aprilia) 1'38.0 (90 laps)
9. Pablo Nieto (Honda) 1'38.2 (44 laps)
10. Imre Toth (Aprilia) 1'39.7 (57 laps)
11. Yukio Kamada (Honda) 1'40.75 (44 laps)
DORNA / CAPSIS International