Suzuki and Kawasaki continued their testing at Phillip Island on Thursday, despite rain disrupting the morning session. Rain wasn't the only issue, as the Kawasaki riders also complained about the strong winds which Phillip Island, which sits on the very edge of the great Southern Ocean, is famous for.
The Kawasaki riders all managed to improve their times, with Marco Melandri matching his best time from the race weekend in early October with a 1'31.8, Olivier Jacque taking 3/10ths off his time from yesterday, and John Hopkins being nearly a second faster than yesterday. Suzuki released no times for today, stating that Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen worked mostly on developing the new bike.
The interesting thing is that those were the times given in the official press releases, but the well-informed Italian site GPOne.com tells a different story. They show some fairly remarkable times for Capirossi and Vermeulen, with Capirossi running a 1'29.7, 3/10ths under Nicky Hayden's lap record set in October. The time given for Capirossi was provided by his manager, Carlo Pernat, who spoke to Capirex over the phone. However, GPOne.com also quotes Bridgestone tire technicians as saying that Capirossi would have run a 1'31.0, while Vermeulen set a 1'31.2.
Which of the various sets of times are accurate is impossible to say, though the word of Bridgestone technicians is probably more reliable than the manager of a rider, as managers tend to have a vested interest in presenting their riders in the best possible light. Below are both sets of times, and we leave it to the analytical powers of our readers to decide which is likely to be the more accurate.
Times according to Kawasaki:
Times according to GPOne.com