The day started cold again at Jerez, and the weather difference between the morning and afternoon sessions is starting to play havoc with the new tire regulations, limiting the number of tires riders can use. In an instant, it became clear who had selected cold weather tires, and who hadn't, and who was suffering from the cold and who wasn't. Valentino Rossi was complaining that because of the temperature differential, the morning sessions are near useless in terms of finding a race setup, as the race is expected to take place in much warmer conditions than the mornings have generated so far.
It certainly looks like some people have found a race setup, though, as Carlos Checa tops the time sheets yet again, and more importantly, put in a couple of very solid runs of laps. Behind Checa, Alex Barros found a much improved setup for the Pramac d'Antin Ducati to take the second spot, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Marco Melandri on Hondas. Melandri improved his time over yesterday, but Pedrosa was 1/10th shy of yesterday's time.
John Hopkins is still in good form, as is Toni Elias, and Colin Edwards. Nicky Hayden found a couple of tenths, but Casey Stoner couldn't find the speed he had in earlier sessions. Two of the biggest surprises are in the Yamaha camp. Makoto Tamada made a huge jump in the standings, taking over half a second of his fastest time, and five times world champion is a way, way down in 18th spot, nearly a full second slower this morning than he was yesterday afternoon.
The grid will be settled this afternoon, during the Qualifying Practice session, but that too could cause quite a few problems. There are still several riders, including Rossi, who will want to do a lot of work on their race setup, before trying to set a fast time on soft qualifying tires. We will find out how it turned out soon enough.
|1||Carlos Checa||Honda RC212V||1â€™40.659|
|2||Alex Barros||Ducati GP07||1â€™40.841|
|3||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC212V||1â€™41.070|
|4||Marco Melandri||Honda RC212V||1â€™41.122|
|5||John Hopkins||Suzuki GSV-R||1â€™41.175|
|6||Toni Elias||Honda RC212V||1â€™41.179|
|7||Colin Edwards||Yamaha M1||1â€™41.301|
|8||Nick Hayden||Honda RC212V||1â€™41.366|
|9||Casey Stoner||Ducati GP07||1â€™41.394|
|10||Makoto Tamada||Yamaha M1||1â€™41.406|
|11||Shinya Nakano||Honda RC212V||1â€™41.416|
|12||Loris Capirossi||Ducati GP07||1â€™41.482|
|13||Sylvain Guintoli||Yamaha M1||1â€™41.674|
|14||Randy de Puniet||Kawasaki ZXRR||1â€™41.802|
|15||Chris Vermeulen||Suzuki GSV-R||1â€™41.872|
|16||Alex Hofmann||Ducati GP07||1â€™41.886|
|17||Kenny Roberts Jr||KR212V||1â€™41.966|
|18||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||1â€™42.129|
|19||Kousuke Akiyoshi||Suzuki GSV-R||1â€™42.464|
|20||Olivier Jacque||Kawasaki ZXRR||1â€™42.560|
Existing Circuit Records:
|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: