MotoGP Race And Practice Results

Full Times From Qatar IRTA Test, Day 3

The last day of testing in Qatar threw up a whole bunch of surprises, clouding what had started to look like a pretty clear picture of the season to come. The first, but probably least, surprise, was that diminutive Spaniard Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets, setting a time 2/10ths faster than Stoner's pole record of 1'55.693, proving once again that the 800s are going to start smashing lap records from the first race. In second place was Suzuki's John Hopkins, who had set his fast lap in the morning. He would not long enjoy his fast time, as 3 laps later, he highsided viciously, fracturing his scaphoid, the bone in the wrist which kept both Makoto Tamada and Alex Hofmann out of several races during the 2005 season. Hopper is slated to miss the Jerez test next week, and will hope to be fit for the season opener in March.

Valentino Rossi set the 3rd fastest time, the only other rider to crack the 1'56 barrier, Yamaha's dominance intact, but not looking as total as in the past two days. But in 4th place, perhaps the biggest surprise of the test: Pramac d'Antin Ducati's Alex Hofmann. The team has been turned around totally since last year, the influx of cash, allied to better rubber and better equipment starting to pay off the Italian industrial equipment manufacturer's investment.

Rossi's team mate Colin Edwards, whose fastest time was set on race tires, slipped to 5th place, ahead of another surprise. Randy de Puniet showed that the form he demonstrated in Sepang was no fluke, by ridng his Kawasaki to a 6th fastest time, ahead of the two factory Ducatis, elder statesman Loris Capirossi leading his younger team mate home. Alex Barros rounded out the trio of Ducatis to take 9h fastest time, ahead of the 2nd Honda rider, Marco Melandri's Bridgestone-shod Gresini RC212V.

The nastiest surprise was for reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden. His testing nightmare continued, only managing to set a 14th fastest time, having to suffer the indignity of both the satellite Gresini Hondas, Shinya Nakano on the Konica Minolta Honda, and Dunlop-shod Makoto Tamada ahead of him. With a crash and a blown engine yesterday, Hayden will surely be glad to leave Qatar behind and head for Jerez.

Slightly better news today for the Ilmors. Andrew Pitt finished the test ahead of more than just his team mate, for a change, having managed to improve his time by close to 2 seconds. The gap with the leaders is still large, but getting smaller. At the bottom of the timesheets, the walking wounded of Olivier Jacque and Jeremy McWilliams bravely soldiered round the track to set rather disappointing times.

The entire circus now ups sticks and shifts to Jerez in Southern Spain, for the official IRTA test, which starts next Friday. At Jerez, there'll be no more hiding. All times will be logged, recorded, and can be analyzed and compared. The season is so very close.

1 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1'55.471
2 John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki 1'55.825
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory 1'55.954
4 Alex Hofmann Pramac d'Antin 1'56.315
5 Colin Edwards Yamaha Factory 1'56.371
6 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki Racing 1'56.753
7 Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro 1'56.807
8 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 1'56.834
9 Alex Barros Pramac d'Antin 1'56.950
10 Marco Melandri Honda Gresini 1'56.980
11 Shinya Nakano Konica Minolta Honda 1'56.980
12 Makoto Tamada Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'57.232
13 Toni Elias Honda Gresini 1'57.246
14 Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 1'57.269
15 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1'57.365
16 Kenny Roberts Team Roberts 1'57.408
17 Carlos Checa Honda LCR 1'57.497
18 Sylvain Guintoli Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'58.379
19 Shinichi Ito Ducati TTT 1'58.974
20 Andrew Pitt Ilmor GP 2'00.455
21 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki Racing 2'02.081
22 Jeremy McWilliams Ilmor GP 2'02.612
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Full Times From Qatar IRTA Test, Day 2

Testing continued in Qatar today, and the Camel Yamaha team continued to dominate. Colin Edwards was fastest once again, taking nearly half a second off yesterday's time, a second under the lap record. Team mate Valentino Rossi was 2nd fastest, a quarter of a second slower. Dani Pedrosa was the fastest Honda, setting the 3rd time, 2/10ths behind The Doctor.

Carlos Checa took the 4th time on the satellite LCR Honda, just ahead of Casey Stoner, who vacated his ride at the end of the season. Checa's place is remarkable, as it is generally assumed that the taller riders, such as Checa, will struggle with the tiny RC212V. Behind Stoner on the Ducati, John Hopkins continued to progress, keeping with spitting distance of the leaders.

The bigger surprises were to be found further towards the rear of the timesheets: World Champion Nicky Hayden set a lowly 11th time today, 0.7 seconds slower than yesterday. But he is in good company, as Loris Capirossi lost time and places as well, back in 12th, and Alex Barros went over a second slower, finishing a lowly 15th fastest. But times are harder to judge today, as a lot of teams spent time doing race simulations, and not everyone went out for shorter series of fast laps.

Down in the injury bay, two names were missing from today's timesheet: Olivier Jacque had decided to sit out Wednesday's action after losing consciousness in a crash on Tuesday, and he was joined by Jeremy McWilliams, who had also suffered a crash on Tuesday. Initially, McWilliams had thought he'd re-broken the leg he broke at Jerez, but upon examination, the injury turned out to be minor. Common sense prevailed, and the Irish veteran sat out today's session. Both Jacque and McWilliams expect to ride tomorrow.

And we can expect the times to be spectacular tomorrow. The last day of testing is traditionally the day that everyone goes on on qualifying tires, making the conditions and the times much more comparable. Tomorrow will give us a slightly better hint of what is to come when the season actually kicks off.

1 Colin Edwards Yamaha Factory 1’56.296
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory 1’56.537
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1’56.712
4 Carlos Checa LCR Honda 1’56. 874
5 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 1’57.040
6 John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki 1’57.065
7 Shinya Nakano Konica Minolta Honda 1’57.274
8 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki Racing 1’57.288
9 Kenny Roberts Jr Team Roberts 1’57.504
10 Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1’57.591
11 Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 1’57.629
12 Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro 1’57.698
13 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1’57.770
14 Alex Hofmann Pramac d’Antin Ducati 1’57.999
15 Alex Barros Pramac d’Antin Ducati 1’58.513
16 Makoto Tamada Yamaha Tech 3 1’58.610
17 Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1’58.990
18 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha Tech 3 1’59.138
19 Shinichi Ito Ducati TTT 1’59.617
20 Andrew Pitt Ilmor GP 2’02.453
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Full Times From Qatar IRTA Test, Day 1

Testing is in full swing in Qatar, in the first of the genuine pre-season shootouts before the real racing begins here in March, but this is no cold war. On the very first day of testing, lap records have been broken, and Colin Edwards has come within a second of Casey Stoner's pole record set last year on the 990cc Honda RC211V. Times are fast, with the top three all being inside of 1'57.

What must worry the competition, however, is the fact that the factory Yamahas are once again one-two at the top of the time sheets, with Valentino Rossi just over a tenth behind Colin Edwards astonishingly fast time. Behind Rossi, Casey Stoner took a third place, demonstrating his pole here last year was anything but a fluke. Kenny Roberts Jr came in a surprising 4th position, his KR212V the first of the Honda powered contenders, just a smidgeon ahead of Nicky Hayden on the factory Repsol Honda RC212V.

John Hopkins took 6th place, further down the charts than the Suzuki's have been over the past few days, but still faster than the fastest race lap he set here last year. Behind Hopkins, Loris Capirossi's time is nearly 4/10ths behind his Ducati team mate, and leads Carlos Checa on the LCR Honda, from Alex Barros on the satellite Pramac d'Antin Ducati. Hayden's team mate Dani Pedrosa set the 10th fastest time, nearly 0.7 seconds behind the World Champion's time.

Randy de Puniet must be slightly disappointed after more promising outings on the Kawasaki in Sepang, but the real worries must be in the Gresini Honda pit. Marco Melandri has so far failed to show the stellar form of 2005 and 2006, and has been very much mid-pack so far during testing.

At the bottom of the timesheets, the Ilmor's have improved, with Andrew Pitt closing the gap from 7 seconds at Sepang down to under 5 seconds. Pitt's team mate, Jeremy McWilliams, may be rueing his decision to return so early from the badly broken leg he sustained at Jerez, his fastest time a lowly 2'10. McWilliams isn't the only injury victim here, though, as Kawasaki's Olivier Jacque was taken to hospital after blacking out during a heavy crash. It is doubtful he'll make an appearance tomorrow, and there's a question mark over whether he'll be able to return on Thursday either.

1 Colin Edwards Yamaha Factory Racing 1'56.774
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing 1'56.891
3 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 1'56.960
4 Kenny Roberts Jr. Team KR 1'57.064
5 Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 1'57.070
6 John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki 1'57.350
7 Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro 1'57.360
8 Carlos Checa LCR Honda 1'57.370
9 Alex Barros Pramac d'Antin 1'57.690
10 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1'57.700
11 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki Racing 1'57.730
12 Marco Melandri Honda Gresini 1´57.760
13 Alex Hofmann Pramac d'Antin 1'57.800
14 Shinya Nakano Konica Minolta Honda 1'57.850
15 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1'57.900
16 Makoto Tamada Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'58.408
17 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki Racing 1'58.740
18 Toni Elias Honda Gresini 1´59.400
19 Sylvain Guintoli Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'59.700
20 Shinichi Ito Ducati TTT 1´59.966
21 Andrew Pitt Ilmor GP 2´01.667
22 Jeremy McWilliams Ilmor GP 2'10.341
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Some Early Times From Qatar IRTA Test, Day 1 - Updated

UK Motorcycle weekly Motorcycle News has a mid-morning update on the current tests at Qatar, and so far, the trend of fast times set at previous tests seems set to continue. The test is only half a day old and already, two riders have cracked Valentino Rossi's lap record set during the 2006 race. In a foretaste of what looks like being another great season, those two riders were former champion Valentino Rossi, and current champion Nicky Hayden. Hayden even succeeded in taking 3/10ths of a second off Rossi's record.

The circuit seems to be suffering problems with transponders, as not all times are being registered, even though this is an officially timed event. Hopefully, this problem will be sorted soon.

More to come as the times come in.

~~~ UPDATED WITH SOME TIMES ~~~

1 Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 1'57.067
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory 1'57.243
3 Colin Edwards Yamaha Factory 1'57.322
4 Kenny Roberts Jr Team Roberts 1'58.212
5 John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki 1'58.533
6 Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro 1'58.649
7 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1'58.658
8 Carlos Checa Honda LCR 1'59.039
9 Shinya Nakano Konica Minolta Honda 1'59.125
10 Alex Hofmann Pramac d'Antin 1'59.204
11 Makoto Tamada Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'59.377
12 Alex Barros Pramac d'Antin 1'59.629
13 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki Racing 1'59.756
14 Sylvain Guintoli Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 1'59.785
15 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki Racing 1'59.941
16 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 2'00.402
17 Toni Elias Honda Gresini 2'00.405
18 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 2'00.489
19 Marco Melandri Honda Gresini 2'00.617
20 Shinichi Ito Ducati TTT 2'01.488
21 Andrew Pitt Ilmor GP 2'02.378
22 Jeremy McWilliams Ilmor GP 2'07.660
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Sepang February Testing, Day 3, Preliminary Results

Testing completed at Sepang today, with Colin Edwards back at the top of the table, having broken Valentino Rossi's pole record, set on a 990 cc bike in September, by nearly 0.4 seconds. What's more Edwards is also 7/10ths faster than Rossi's fastest time at the previous test in January. Rossi also beat his time at the previous test, setting the second fastest time, over half a second behind Edwards.

Randy de Puniet is fastest Kawasaki again, though this time team mate Olivier Jacque is much closer, half a second behind instead of over a second yesterday.

Makoto Tamada heads up the Tech 3 Yamaha riders, though the Japanese rider was slower today than yesterday. Team mate Sylvain Guintoli was quicker again, and has made good progress since starting this test, improving his time by nearly 2 seconds over the three days.

Ilmor continue to make slow progress, with Andrew Pitt improving his time by 1.3 seconds. But the British-based team is still a long way behind the rest, nearly 3 seconds off Guintoli's pace, and over 7 seconds off Edwards' blistering lap.

1. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2'00.248
2. Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2'00.793
3. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing - 2'02.071
4. Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki Racing - 2'02.607
5. Makoto Tamada - Tech 3 Yamaha - 2'03.380
6. Sylvain Guintoli - Tech 3 Yamaha - 2'04.636
7. Andrew Pitt - Ilmor SRT - 2'07.373

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Sepang February Testing, Day 2, Preliminary Results

Day 2 of the Sepang test saw the results much as they were for Day 1. The only real difference was that Yamaha team mates Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards had changed places, with The Doctor fastest on Day 2. Times were quicker than the day before, but not by much. Biggest improver of the day was Tech 3 Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli, taking over a second and a half of his time from yesterday.

Testing finishes tomorrow.

1. Rossi - Yamaha Racing - 2'02.099
2. Edwards - Yamaha Racing - 2'02.118
3. de Puniet - Kawasaki - 2'02.554
4. Tamada - Tech 3 Yamaha - 2'02.745
5. Jacque - Kawasaki - 2'03.761
6. Guintoli - Tech 3 Yamaha - 2'05.002
7. Pitt - Ilmor Racing - 2'07.923

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Sepang February Testing, Day 1, Preliminary Results

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

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The Curious Case Of The Phillip Island Day 3 Times

I posted an item earlier about the times set at Phillip Island on day 3 of testing. The times I had posted, and which I had based my brief analysis on, came from Italian site Motograndprix.it. I then received an e-mail from one of my readers asking me about those times, as they were different from the times he'd seen on other sites, such as Crash.net, or Cycle News. So I checked them out.

Here are the times from MotoGrandPrix.it, once again:

01- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 1'29.52
02- Dani Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 1'29.70
03- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1'30.14
04- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1'30.20
05- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1'30.21
06- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1'30.34
07- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1'30.43
08- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 1'30.46
09- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 1'30.56
10- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 1'30.80
11- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1'30.80
12- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 1'30.97
13- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 1'31.10

And here are the times from Cycle News (which are the same as the times on the MotoGP.com home page:

1. Nicky Hayden- Repsol Honda 1:29.52
2. Dani Pedrosa-Repsol Honda 1:29.72
3. Loris Capirossi-Ducati Marlboro 1:30.149
4. Casey Stoner-Ducati Marlboro 1:30.206
5. Alex Hofmann-Pramac d’Antin Ducati 1:30.21
6. Alex Barros-Pramac d’Antin Ducati 1:30.43
7. Carlos Checa-Honda LCR 1:30.46
8. Toni Elias-Gresini Honda 1:30.56
9. Chris Vermeulen- Rizla Suzuki 1:30.72
10. Marco Melandri-Gresini Honda 1:30.80
11. John Hopkins- Rizla Suzuki 1:30.80
12. Shinya Nakano-Konica Minolta Honda 1:30.97
13. Kenny Roberts JR-Team Roberts 1:31.10

One or two things strike me straight away:

  • Dani Pedrosa went 0.02 seconds faster, according to the Italians;
  • Loris Capirossi's time was rounded down, rather than up, as it should have been;
  • Chris Vermeulen went 0.3 seconds slower, according to Cycle News.

I later received the Suzuki press release about the Phillip Island test, and they mention that Vermeulen put in a fastest lap of 1'30.30, or 0.04 faster than Motograndprix.it claimed, and 0.42 seconds faster than Cycle News said, and they claimed that John Hopkins rode a 1'30.60, or 0.2 seconds faster than his time recorded elsewhere, and faster than Marco Melandri's time.

This is what makes testing so fascinating, and so frustrating: So much of the times recorded are smoke and mirrors, and uncheckable. It makes for great speculation, but poor analysis. Not that we will let that stop us, but it means that you, the reader should take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Once we get to the official Irta tests, which release official timing, then we'll start to get the cold, hard facts. until then, Caveat Emptor.

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Phillip Island Testing, Day 3 Times

Testing finished today at Phillip Island in Australia with a return to form for reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden. He put in the fastest time of the entire three-day test on his Repsol Honda RC212V, setting a time of 1:29.52, just half a second of his track record 1:29.02 pole record at September's race. Team mate Dani Pedrosa even managed to beat the time he set aboard the 990cc RC211V during qualifying by 0.3 seconds.

The Ducatis followed the Repsol Honda pair, with factory Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner finally managing to go faster than the Pramac d'Antin satellite bikes. The surprise of the session was that Alex Hofmann was faster than his team mate Alex Barros by 0.2 seconds. Sandwiched between the Pramac pair was Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, having set a personal fastest lap round his home circuit of 1:30.34. Carlos Checa headed up the posse of satellite Hondas who followed Barros.

Comparing the times set during the tests to the times set during qualifying practice at Phillip Island provides some interest insights. Where Hayden, Melandri, Checa and Stoner were slower on their new 800 bikes, several riders were faster. Dani Pedrosa was 3/10ths quicker, but was riding injured during last year's race weekend. Loris Capirossi wasn't injured, though, and he managed to improve by 2/10ths on the time he set in September.

The big surprise, though, is once again the Suzukis. Although the GSV-Rs of Hopkins and Vermeulen are way down the timesheets at this test session, where previously they had led, when you compare their times with those set in September, they have shown significant progression. Hopkins took over 0.3 seconds off his qualifying time, and Chris Vermeulen was nearly a full second faster than the 1:31.288 he set during qualifying in September.

The most disappointed riders must be Shinya Nakano and Kenny Roberts Jr. In a worrying repeat of Makoto Tamada's experience with the Michelins, Nakano has struggled for front end confidence since switching from Bridgestone rubber. And Kenny Roberts Jr is having to work very hard to test chassis to get the KR212V working. Kenny Jr was 1.5 seconds slower this test than in September.

Testing resumes next week in Sepang, where Yamaha will rejoin the tests, but Suzuki will be absent.

01- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 1:29.52
02- Dani Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 1:29.70
03- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.14
04- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.20
05- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.21
06- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:30.34
07- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.43
08- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 1:30.46
09- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 1:30.56
10- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 1:30.80
11- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:30.80
12- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 1:30.97
13- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 1:31.10

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Phillip Island Testing, Day 2 Times

Ducati continued to dominate the second day of testing at Phillip Island. And once again, it's not the factory bikes of Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner who are fastest, but the satellite Pramac d'Antin bike of Alex Barros. Honda have managed to close the gap left yesterday, with Dani Pedrosa being the fastest RC212V rider on Wednesday, setting the 4th fastest time, ahead of the slowest Ducati rider, Alex Hofmann.

Reigning world champion Nicky Hayden heads up a gaggle of Hondas, with Chris Vermeulen taking fastest Suzuki honors. Suzuki, the team to beat at previous tests, seem to have found some improvement from yesterday, having narrowed the gap a little. But they are still a surprisingly long way behind the field, having shown the way in Sepang, Jerez and Valencia.

Testing finishes up on Thursday.

01- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.01
02- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.34
03- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.39
04- Daniel Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 1:30.45
05- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.60
06- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 1:30.61
07- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 1:30.74
08- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 1:30.84
09- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:31.19
10- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 1:31.35
11- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 1:31.40
12- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 1:31.55
13- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:31.65

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