MotoGP Race And Practice Results

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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Phillip Island Testing, Day 1 Times

MotoGP testing resumed to day at the Phillip Island track in Australia. And once again, the times showed up a bunch of surprises. Biggest surprise of all is the name of the fastest rider: Aboard the bike which seemed to be permanently lodged at the very tail end of the field in 2006, it was Alex Barros who set the day's fastest time, with a 1:30.6. Good tires and a great rider really can make a huge difference, as the d'Antin Ducati was absolutely nowhere last year.

Second fastest is yet another satellite rider: Marco Melandri on the Gresini Honda RC212V. Behind Melandri, the works riders were led by Loris Capirossi on the Ducati, ahead of Nicky Hayden on the Honda. Dani Pedrosa set a 5th fastest time, ahead of local hero Casey Stoner.

Even before the test had started, the Suzuki team had emphasized the fact that Phillip Island is a poor track for them, and the times today bear that out. John Hopkins is fastest, with a 1:31.8, over a second slower than Barros, and Chris Vermeulen is 2nd to last, 0.2 seconds slower. Whether this was just circumstances, or a something more serious remains to be seen over the next few days.

Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ilmor are all absent, having chosen to perform their testing elsewhere.

01- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.60
02- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 1:30.70
03- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.70
04- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 1:31.18
05- Daniel Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 1:31.29
06- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:31.40
07- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:31.50
08- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 1:31.80
09- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:31.80
10- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 1:31.90
11- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 1:32.00
12- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:32.00
13- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 1:32.23

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Sepang Testing, Day 3, Preliminary Results

Testing concluded today at Sepang, and the picture created during the first two days has shifted a little. Where previously the Suzukis dominated, today it was Valentino Rossi's turn to shine. The Doctor set a blistering pace, just 0.3 seconds off his pole position set in September. John Hopkins set the 2nd time, less than a tenth slower than Rossi, showing the Suzukis are still well in contention. Chris Vermeulen's 5th time confirms this impression.

Between the two Suzukis are two bikes which had been looking a little lost for pace on the first two days: Loris Capirossi set the 3rd time on the factory Ducati, ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the Honda, who so far had failed to live up to the expectations as HRC favorite.

Behind Vermeulen's Suzuki is another surprise package. Randy de Puniet is forcibly removing any doubts that may have lingered about Kawasaki's progress over the winter, setting an excellent 6th fastest time. Reigning world champion Nicky Hayden is 7th fastest, ahead of Yamaha's Colin Edwards and Casey Stoner on the other Ducati. The customer Hondas have moved up the standings a little, and the d'Antin Ducatis have dropped down the standings.

All in all, some interesting shifts. What is clear, however, is that the qualifiers went on today. With the new tire restrictions coming into force this season, the value of qualifying tires will diminish, but they remain a useful tool for learning how a bike reacts when pushed to the very limit.

Testing continues next week at Phillip Island, Australia.

1. Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Racing 2’00.936
2. John Hopkins - Rizla Suzuki 2’01.026
3. Loris Capirossi - Ducati MotoGP 2’01.274
4. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 2’01.664
5. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki 2’01.691
6. Randy De Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 2’01.878
7. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 2’01.884
8. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Racing 2’02.266
9. Casey Stoner - Ducati MotoGP 2’02.407
10. Marco Melandri - Honda Gresini 2’02.489
11. Carlos Checa - Honda LCR 2’02.583
12. Alex Barros - Pramac d'Antin 2’02.630
13. Toni Elias - Honda Gresini 2’02.927
14. Alex Hofmann - Pramac d'Antin 2’03.040
15. Shinya Nakano - Konica Minolta Honda 2’03.077
16. Makoto Tamada - Yamaha Tech 3 2’03.308
17. Kenny Roberts JR - Team Roberts 2’03.330
18. Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki Racing 2’03.592
19. Shinichi Ito - Bridgestone MotoGP 2’03.973

Times from MotoGrandPrix.it once again.

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Sepang Testing, Day 2, Preliminary Results

The Suzukis continue to dominate on the second day of testing at Sepang. John Hopkins heads the timesheets once again, with team mate Chris Vermeulen not far behind. But today, they did not manage a one-two, as Colin Edwards squeezed his Yamaha between the American and the Australian. Behind Vermeulen, Alex Barros set a very respectable 4th time, confirming once again that the d'Antin package looks like being very competitive this year. Valentino Rossi is 5th, ahead of Loris Capirossi and another strong showing by Randy de Puniet.

The Hondas are down the timesheets again, though not quite as far as yesterday. Nicky Hayden was faster than team mate Dani Pedrosa for the second day running, with Marco Melandri the fastest satellite Honda today. Yesterday's surprise packages Kenny Roberts Jr and Makoto Tamada are well down the running order today.

The three-day test concludes tomorrow.

1. John Hopkins- Rizla Suzuki 2’01.806
2. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Racing 2’01.930
3. Chris Vermeulen- Rizla Suzuki 2’02.275
4. Alex Barros - Pramac d'Antin 2’02.538
5. Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Racing 2’02.619
6. Loris Capirossi - Ducati MotoGP 2’02.793
7. Randy De Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 2’02.806
8. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 2’02.948
9. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 2’03.098
10. Casey Stoner - Ducati MotoGP 2’03.190
11. Marco Melandri - Honda Gresini 2’03.253
12. Shinya Nakano - Konica Minolta Honda 2’03.633
13. Carlos Checa - Honda LCR 2’03.681
14. Shinichi Ito - Bridgestone Test 2’03.700
15. Kenny Roberts JR - Team Roberts 2’03.800
16. Alex Hofmann - Pramac d'Antin 2’03.895
17. Toni Elias - Honda Gresini 2’04.124
18. Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki Racing 2’04.171
19. Makoto Tamada - Yamaha Tech 3 2’04.350
20. Sylvain Guintoli - Yamaha tech 3 2’04.892

Times from MotoGrandPrix.it.

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Sepang Testing, Day 1, Preliminary Results

Well, the winter is over, testing has resumed after the winter ban, and the MotoGP season is off and running. All of the teams except for Ilmor have returned to Sepang in Malaysia, as they continue to develop their bikes for the 2007 season opener in Qatar.

And the teams seem to have picked up where they left off, with very few changes. The Suzukis lead once again, with John Hopkins getting with 0.1 seconds of the lap record set by Loris Capirossi in September. Hopper heads up Suzuki team mate Chris Vermeulen, ahead of the Yamaha team mates Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. This time, it's Nicky Hayden's turn to be fastest Honda, with Dani Pedrosa, who had been fastest at earlier tests, down in 8th. Capirossi is fastest Ducati, and Randy de Puniet is the big surprise, setting a fine 7th time. So far, Kawasaki have been singularly unimpressive in testing, suffering various catastrophic failures at previous tests, and setting times much more in line with Olivier Jacque's 19th time.

What must be most worrying for Honda, though, is that most of their riders finished so far down the running order. After Pedrosa, you have to look a long way down the list to find the remainder of the RC212V fraternity, with Makoto Tamada on the Dunlop-shod M1, and Casey Stoner and the d'Antin Ducatis between the Repsol Hondas and the rest. Even more worryingly, the first Honda after Pedrosa is Kenny Roberts Jr on the first outing of Team KR's new KR212V bike.

There's still a long way to go to Qatar, but so far, the season looks like being full of suprises.

01- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 2'02.277
02- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 2'03.049
03- Valentino Rossi - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.184
04- Colin Edwards - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.337
05- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 2'03.413
06- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'03.538
07- Randy De Puniet - Kawasaki ZX-RR 800cc - 2'03.542
08- Daniel Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 2'03.620
09- Makoto Tamada - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.785
10- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'03.944
11- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.003
12- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.011
13- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 2'04.088
14- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 2'04.101
15- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 2'04.138
16- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 2'04.270
17- Shinichi Itoh - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.641
18- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 2'04.710
19- Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki ZX-RR 800cc - 2'04.718
20- Sylvain Guintoli - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'07.403

Times taken from Motograndprix.it.

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