But there's still work to be done
The first MotoGP test of the year got underway at Sepang, Malaysia today. All riders signed to contest the series are in attendance, with the sole exception of the Ilmor MotoGP squad.
The Honda riders equipped with the RC212V four-cylinder
800cc machines they will campaign in the 18-round MotoGP World Championship began their preparations for the 2007 season at Malaysian circuit today. The six riders, from four different teams, together with Kenny Roberts Jnr riding the Honda powered KR212V, took to the 5.548km track chasing a base set up to work from during the three-day test.
Team Roberts gave their all-new KR212V its first outing. The new machine, a RC212V engine housed in a Team Roberts chassis that the team built from scratch in just 90 days. Team personnel feel that the new machine is closer to ‘Ready to race' than at the same point in 2006 with the KR211V.
Team rider Kenny Roberts Junior put the machine through its paces and despite the late start to 2007 testing the former 500cc world champion set a very respectable shake down lap time of 2m 04.088s as he, “Got back into the swing of riding.”.
Kenny Roberts Jnr, Team Roberts: 2m 04.088s.
"I think that technically we got a lot done for our first day. We tried a total of three swing-arms and two linkages today so we got some of the bigger items out of the way. We still need to try a new fabricated chassis tomorrow, or at least by the end of the remaining two days. Basically, the times this morning were ok and I was getting down to quite a few low 2m 04s laps. I'm just stuck right there at the moment.
We've just got to get the bike going round the corners a little bit faster. With these bikes it's all corner speed - you never really square anything off like on the V5 used to do and if you're spinning it you've got to figure out how to not spin it. With a handful more power you could get away with more mistakes than you can at the moment - consistency wise. It's been a pretty standard first day. I probably would have liked to have gotten into the 2m 03s laps, so we've got to see if we can get the bike going round the corners a little bit better tomorrow, which we will. The first day here is always just getting back into the swing of things. We've got a lot on our plate trying to build a bike and come out ready to go on the first day."