The final day of testing at Jerez started blustery but dry, the wind thankfully drying the track out quickly whenever showers passed over. Once the sun came out early in the afternoon, the track soon dried out completely, and the many riders who had stayed inside all morning were quick to come out and get some laps in.
The enforced inaction was not good for everyone. James Toseland, for one, took a nasty tumble on just his 2nd lap out of the pits, badly twisting his ankle. Despite his injury, Toseland rejoined the session after a visit to the Clinica Mobile, eventually finishing the day with the 6th fastest time.
The Michelins dominated the timesheet at the end of the day, with Nicky Hayden setting an incredibly fast time, 0.2 seconds faster than the existing pole record, and equaling the time he set here during testing in November, which was itself 0.3 seconds slower than the time Dani Pedrosa set at the same session.
Hayden's time was indicative of the quality of the Michelin qualifiers: the top 4 times were all set on French rubber, with Valentino Rossi the first rider on Bridgestones in 5th place. Rossi finished over 3/10ths of a second time on his Michelin-shod team mate, the rookie Jorge Lorenzo.
Casey Stoner, winner of the BMW Z4 on Sunday, only finished with the 7th fastest time, but still managed some impressive laps in the 1'40 bracket on race rubber. Stoner is sitting very pretty indeed for the start of the new season, the Australian consistently either the fastest or one of the fastest riders of each session.
The same cannot be said of the other Ducati riders. Stoner's team mate Melandri could only manage the 14th fastest time, sandwiched between the two satellite Ducatis of Sylvain Guintoli and Toni Elias. Both Melandri and Elias have been very disappointing, struggling during just about every session of testing so far.
Over in sick bay, both John Hopkins and Dani Pedrosa rode today, after missing most, or in Pedrosa's case, all, of Sunday's practice sessions. But both riders took it easy, with Pedrosa only running 36 laps, while Hopper could manage just 21 full laps, the Spaniard finishing down in 16th, while the American finished a lowly 18th.
With one last test to go, at Qatar, to train under the floodlights, the season is very nearly upon us. Just a few short weeks to go.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Manufacturer||Fast Lap||Diff||Diff Previous|
|4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1'39.351||0.503||0.038|
|8||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1'39.932||1.084||0.087|
|Did not start|
|Pole Position||2007||Dani PEDROSA||1'39.402||160.185 Km/h|
|Fastest Lap||2007||Valentino ROSSI||1'40.905||157.799 Km/h|
|Circuit Record Lap||2005||Valentino ROSSI||1'40.596||158.284 Km/h|
|Circuit Best Lap||2006||Loris CAPIROSSI||1'39.064||160.732 Km/h|