2007 Jerez FP 1 Times

Hostilities opened at Jerez this morning under very cool conditions. Both ambient and track temperatures were in the mid-50s fahrenheit, hardly the ideal conditions for pushing racing motorcycles to the limit. The conditions also showed in the results, with none of the names being tipped for the win prior to the race anywhere near the top of the timesheets.

The man who did get to the top is Kenny Roberts Jr on the KR212V. Kenny Jr will want to expunge the memory of a poor performance at Qatar, and has started on the right road already. Marco Melandri set the 2nd time, also improving on his Qatar outing. Everybody's favorite for Sunday, Casey Stoner, managed to set the 3rd fastest time on his Ducati, ahead of the reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden. Hayden will be glad to be closer to the front of the times, and hoping to have found some answers.

Toni Elias is in 5th on another Honda, ahead of John Hopkins on the Suzuki and Hayden's team mate Dani Pedrosa. 5-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who topped the charts at the IRTA test here in Jerez a month ago together with Pedrosa, is down in 8th, ahead of team mate Colin Edwards and another Honda ridden by Shinya Nakano.

Though the conditions don't really give a realistic reflection of the state of play, a cold track and cold tires standing in the way of truly competitive times, it's interesting to see how many Hondas are at the top of the timesheets. So far this season, Honda has been worryingly mediocre, and the HRC engineers must be pleased to see a Honda-powered bike at the front, followed by 4 Hondas in the next 6 bikes.

The other interesting effect of the cold conditions will be tire choice. The new regulations mean that the riders have only 14 front tires and 17 rear tires, and tire selection will be mainly focused on getting a good race tire. With the conditions expected to be in the 80s on Sunday afternoon, many teams may not have chosen a tire which will work well in the cooler conditions, and could be struggling as a result.

Conditions are likely to warm up for this afternoon's free practice session, and we shall see what effect that has on times and standings then.

1 Kenny Roberts Jr KR212V 1'41.182
2 Marco Melandri Honda RC212V 1'41.418
3 Casey Stoner Ducati GP07 1'41.450
4 Nick Hayden Honda RC212V 1'41.566
5 Toni Elias Honda RC212V 1'41613
6 John Hopkins Suzuki GSV-R 1'41.860
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC212V 1'41.959
8 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1'42.057
9 Colin Edwards Yamaha M1 1'42.078
10 Shinya Nakano Honda RC212V 1'42.199
11 Carlos Checa Honda RC212V 1'42.205
12 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki GSV-R 1'42.269
13 Alex Barros Ducati GP07 1'42.383
14 Loris Capirossi Ducati GP07 1'42.427
15 Alex Hofmann Ducati GP07 1'42.515
16 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki ZXRR 1'42.892
17 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki ZXRR 1'42.997
18 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha M1 1'43.161
19 Makoto Tamada Yamaha M1 1'43.309
20 Kousuke Akiyoshi Suzuki GSV-R 1'44.168

Existing Circuit Records:

Fastest Lap: Lap 25 Kenny ROBERTS JR 1'41.182 157.367 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2006 Valentino ROSSI 1'40.596 158.284 Km/h
Circuit Best Lap: 2006 Loris CAPIROSSI 1'39.064 160.732 Km/h

Fastest lap from IRTA Test 2007:

Valentino ROSSI 1'38.394
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