On the second and final day, or rather, night of testing at Qatar, two rookies ended up at the top of the heap. After James Toseland had held the top spot for much of the session, it was Jorge Lorenzo who finished with the fastest time, nearly half a second faster than the current pole record, held by Valentino Rossi.
|Pos.||Rider||Bike||Time||Fast Lap||Total Laps|
|3||Randy De Puniet||Honda||1'56.062||85||88|
The first times are starting to appear from the first night time test at Qatar, in the warmup for next week's first ever night time Grand Prix. So far, it's Casey Stoner who is fastest, as usual. Because the session got underway late, the test is due to carry on until 1am local time, which is 10pm GMT.
Times from GPOne.com:
Times at 10pm local time:
It seems that Ducati's first world championship title has upset the major Japanese manufacturers a very great deal. After Honda got the FIM and MSMA to reduce the capacity to 800cc, they fully expected to be able to dominate the MotoGP class as they had after the previous change, the switch to four-stroke engines in 2002. They had not reckoned on a tiny Italian factory stealing their thunder by gambling on maximum horsepower, and humiliating the big players, and natural heirs to the MotoGP crown.
With the MotoGP teams switching back and forth between "big bang" and "screamer" firing orders, there is a lot of discussion about the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two engine configurations. On the one hand, Ducati has elected to switch back to the screamer configuration, with a great deal of success, while Kawasaki is working hard on its own version of the screamer, their task made more complicated by the fact that the Green Machine is an inline four.
As the World Superbike opener in Qatar approaches, the media is focusing its attention on some of the more unusual aspects of the World Superbike paddock. One of those anomalies is the HANNSpree Ten Kate Honda team, which is fielding not 2 but 3 top names in the Superbike championship: former MotoGP veteran Carlos Checa, double British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, and reigning World Supersport title holder Kenan Sofuoglu.
The final day of testing at Jerez started blustery but dry, the wind thankfully drying the track out quickly whenever showers passed over. Once the sun came out early in the afternoon, the track soon dried out completely, and the many riders who had stayed inside all morning were quick to come out and get some laps in.