“The bike feels a bit better here”
The second three-day MotoGP test of 2007 began well for the Repsol Honda Team at Phillip Island today with both riders improving their laptimes from the race here last September.
Riding the new 800cc Honda RC212V, World Champion
Nicky Hayden and team-mate Dani Pedrosa spent the day working on bike settings for the fast and flowing 4.448km (2.764 miles) circuit – a track which presents a different set of challenges to Sepang in Malaysia where the team tested last week.
25-year-old American Nicky Hayden confirmed the rapid progress of the RC212V on its first outing at the Australian track by setting a time of 1m 31.18s. This was 0.25s faster than his 2006 best race lap of 1m 31.43s. Pedrosa was also quickly up to speed, the 21-year-old Spaniard shaving 0.14s from his fastest race lap of 2006 to set a time of 1m 31.29s today.
Rain showers at 4pm curtailed the day's testing, so the teams will resume work tomorrow morning as they prepare for the eagerly-awaited 2007 season opener at Qatar on March 10.
Nicky Hayden Best laptime: 1m 31.18s - 81 laps
"We got in a pretty full day of testing today, working mainly on settings and trying to improve the bike geometry-wise. We were also confirming some of the things I liked from the test in Malaysia last week and checking they work on a totally different track under totally different conditions. The new 800cc bike is pretty fun to ride here - in a few of these corners you carry some serious speed. We realise we've got some work still to do but the bike feels a bit better here. We were cut short by the rain but we dodged a bullet because it looked like it could have rained a lot earlier.
And we got a lot of data today for the boys to analyse - so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Dani Pedrosa Best laptime: 1m 31.29s - 78 laps
"We had a good day here with this bike and the first impression is good. The day started sunny so we were able to complete plenty of laps, although it clouded over and the rain stopped us towards the end of the afternoon. The track here is very different to Sepang so we were able compare the things we found at the test last week and also work on the set-up, because the lap is shorter and the circuit is more flowing - it's less of a power circuit. Today was useful and hopefully the weather will be good for the next two days."