A depleted group returned to Sepang today, for the third session of pre-season testing this year. Where the previous two tests had seen mass attendance, only Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ilmor turned up in Malaysia, fielding a grand total of seven riders.
It was the Yamahas who were once again at the front, this time with Texas Tornado Colin Edwards leading the way. Team mate Valentino Rossi was not far behind, and nearly three quarters of a second ahead of Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, who ran a monster 85 laps of practice. Makoto Tamada was fastest of the Dunlop Yamahas, ahead of de Puniet's team mate Olivier Jacque. Tech 3 Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli and Ilmor's Andrew Pitt brought up the rear, several seconds off the pace.
The times are over a second off of the fastest lap from the previous test here, two weeks ago, when Valentino Rossi set a time of 2'00.936. The riders have two more days to close the gap.
1. Colin Edwards (Yamaha Factory Racing) - 2'02.175
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) - 2'02.221
3. Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki Racing) - 2'02.966
4. Makoto Tamada (Yamaha Tech 3) - 2'03.219
5. Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki Racing) - 2'03.959
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Yamaha Tech 3) - 2'06.558
7. Andrew Pitt (Ilmor SRT) - 2'08.640