Jerez MotoGP Test - Day 2 - Final Times

Testing continued at Jerez this afternoon, the weather finally having decided to play along. Valentino Rossi made good use of the balmy conditions to get within a hair of his own lap record, just 0.1 seconds ahead of Honda rival Dani Pedrosa. With Colin Edwards 3rd fastest, albeit 3/10ths behind, Yamaha looks set to be in a strong position when the season starts. Behind Edwards, the Suzuki pairing of Hopkins and Vermeulen are once again showing their strength, with less than 2/100ths of a second between the two of them. The works Ducati team follow the Suzukis, Casey Stoner leading team Loris Capirossi, while the Marco Melandri and Shinya Nakano, the next Honda riders, only managed to get within 2 seconds of Rossi's fastest time. MotoGP's prodigal son Alex Barros had his first outing on the 800cc Ducati, putting in a very respectable time, considering this was his first full day on the bike. The Ilmors trail the field once again, with Jeremy McWilliams and Andrew Pitt testing with a view to securing a full-time ride for the 2007 season.

It's difficult to draw conclusions from the released test times, with no official timing being available, and the numbers being consequently in some doubt, but a few things stand out. First of all, the number of laps Valentino Rossi put in. 82 laps is a huge number, equating to 3 full race lengths. It's obvious he is making sure his excursions into WRC won't interfere with the development of the M-whatever-number-they-decide-to-call-it. There's also a huge difference between Pedrosa and the customer Hondas. That's probably not too much of a surprise, as the Honda is at the center of a frantic effort at the moment, as complaints about a lack of power have been widespread, and the factory Repsol Honda team will be the first to get new parts. And then of course there's the Suzukis. So far, they've been impressive in all of the pre-season tests this year. But if you bear in mind that the 990 Suzuki always had excellent corner speed, and the new 800 class is expected to be all about corner speed, it's not such a big surprise after all.

Testing at Jerez wraps up tomorrow, with conditions expected to be slightly less favorable, the temperatures lower, though remaining dry.

1.  Rossi (Yamaha) 1:40.688 (82 laps)
2.  Pedrosa (Honda) 1:40.799 (61)
3.  Edwards (Yamaha) 1:41.186 (48)
4.  Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:41.205 (60)
5.  Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1:41.619 (56)
6.  Stoner (Ducati) 1:41.702 (43)
7.  Capirossi (Ducati) 1:42.244 (34)
8.  Melandri (Honda) 1:42.469 (45)
9.  Nakano (Honda) 1:42.528 (63)
10. Barros (Ducati) 1:43.182 (63)
11. Okada (Honda) 1:43.316 (59)
12. Guareschi (Ducati) 1:44.449 (49)
13. McWilliams (Ilmor) 1:45.265 (27)
14. Pitt (Ilmor) 1:47.110 (35)

Fastest race lap for each of the manufacturers from the 2006 Spanish GP in March:
Ducati: Loris Capirossi 1:41.248
Honda: Dani Pedrosa 1:41.297
Suzuki: John Hopkins 1:41.598
Kawasaki: Shinya Nakano 1:42.017
Yamaha: Carlos Checa 1:42.161

Lap record:
2005, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, 1.40.596

Pole record:
2006, Loris Capirossi, Ducati, 1:39.064

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