Full day one times
1 Biaggi (Honda) 2m02.690
2 Edwards (Honda) 2m02.939
3 Rossi (Yamaha) 2m03.100
4 Gibernau (Honda) 2m03.121
5 Capirossi (Ducati) 2m03.883
6 Hayden (Honda) 2m03.915
7 Tamada (Honda) 2m04.072
8 Bayliss (Ducati) 2m04.208
9 Roberts (Suzuki) 2m04.452
10 Checa (Yamaha) 2m04.631
11 Akiysohi (Suzuki) 2m04.860
12 Nakano (Kawasaki) 2m04.906
13 Itoh (Honda) 2m5.015
14 Hofmann (Kawasaki) 2m05.506
15 Melandri (Yamaha) 2m05.803
16 McWilliams (Aprilia) 2m05.964
17 Barros (Honda) 2m05.980
18 Abe (Yamaha) 2m06.035
19 Lavilla (Suzuki) 2m06.418
20 Pitt (Moriwaki) 2m06.779
21 Hodgson (Ducati) 2m06.948
22 Xaus (Ducati) 2m07.024
23 Byrne (Aprilia) 2m07.103
24 Watanabe (Suzuki) 2m08.776
Biaggi fastest on opening day of Sepang MotoGP test
Back at the Sepang International Circuit not even a month after their last MotoGP test session at the track, Honda riders began the first of three days testing at what is a packed venue this week. Alexandre Barros was present to take his first ride of the 2004 Repsol Honda, but had to share the track with most of his other MotoGP rivals as he got back into the swing of things since undergoing a shoulder operation in the winter. Besides the factory and satellite teams from Ducati, Yamaha, Aprilia, Suzuki and Kawasaki, six official Honda MotoGP riders took to the track, with Max Biaggi finishing the fastest of all those out there.
As with most of the other Honda riders, Biaggi was riding with a brand new engine and was visibly satisfied with the results, which repeated the efforts he showed here just a couple of weeks ago. Behind him Colin Edwards looked much more comfortable on his RC211V than at the previous test, breaking the two minutes three seconds barrier for the first time. Edwards' Telefonica MoviStar Honda team-mate Sete Gibernau rode consistently once more.
HRC factory team riders Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros were both happy with their first day on board their upgraded 2004 version of the World Championship winning machine, featuring increased engine power, revised swinging arm and suspension. Hayden working particularly hard grinding out 74 laps on the machine he will start the new season with. Finally, Makoto Tamada, riding in Camel Honda colours for the first time, had a slight crash during the morning which impeded his work for the rest of the day, however the Japanese rider was content with how he felt before the off, and will hope to improve tomorrow.
Max Biaggi - 2m 02.693s 53 laps
"I'm happy with the day, because we've really done some good work, as well as being able to get some good settings with the 16.5-inch front tyre. We had some good settings from before of course, but still have some more work to do on this new engine. The new engine's much better, it's new in that it has got no mileage on it, but we still don't know if it's enough to be number one yet, we'll have to see how it develops."
Colin Edwards - 2m 02.939s 58 laps
"I'm definitely happier today. The bike feels better with this engine in it, which is new to me. It feels stronger and that's good for me. Michelin have brought some good stuff here, perhaps they didn't have what we needed for the front at the last test. Now I'm testing the front for them, and it feels good and I'm getting more comfortable with it. Before the mid-3s were hard for me, now I can do it half-asleep. It was a productive last test for this reason though, the bike and the team is awesome, it's all a perfect unit."
Sete Gibernau - 2m 03.121s 33 laps
"Things went well today again, and I'm happy that we've got this new bike going and the engine feels good. I'm doing lots of work for Michelin here, and the good thing is that my consistency is still there. That's the important thing, I've still got rhythm and I'm keeping the race pace. Physically I feel good, and we'll continue to look at settings for the 16.5 inch front tomorrow."
Nicky Hayden - 2m 03.915s 74 laps "A pretty productive day really. We got through what we wanted to test today - a lotta' laps in this heat. Engine-wise we're basically the same as we were last month but chassis-wise we've definitely had a couple of things to try."
"The rear end is takin' some time to get used to - a lil' bit different feel. We're sort of startin' from zero - we need to find some base settings and work out which way to go. It took a lil' time to get sorted and we've definitely made some progress in the right direction. Obviously I'd like the lap time to be better - more of the same tomorrow but faster. Just gotta' keep grindin' away."
Alex Barros - 2m 05.980s 52 laps "I was so excited about today I really didn't sleep much last night. The target is to be 100% ready for the first race in April. At the moment I am still recovering from the shoulder operation and am not fully fit. It was good today because I keep telling myself not to go mad. There are many top Honda people here today and they tell me to take it easy. Don't panic!"
"I haven't ridden a machine for three months; I really need to make a good 'warm-up'. All the feelings I have on the bike with reference points are completely different to last year. Even though I rode the RCV in 2002 I can make no real comparison. The whole package seems to have increased. The power - the grip - the turning. Everything is a little bit better."
"I have a great feeling about this season - I have ridden for Honda for eight years - this is my ninth and this is the first time in the number one team. I am working with many people I have known for a long time but we have to build this new team to make a really strong package. It won't happen overnight but I am very confident we make a good foundation."
Makoto Tamada - 2m 04.072s 16 laps
"When I crashed the front tyre pushed a little bit too much, I was going a little quicker than I'd thought really. The new engine feels much better, it has more horsepower and I'm much happier with it. I couldn't test too much after the crash, but if I'd continued to test I'm sure I could find some more settings to ride this new machine the way I want, to ride it easier and without losing it."
THE 2004 DESMOSEDICI (D16GP4) DEBUTS AT SEPANG
Sepang (Malaysia), 11th February 2004 - After being presented to the international media last week, the 2004 Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici took to the track for the first time today on day 1 of a three-day session at the Sepang circuit, Malaysia.
Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi were in action today for the first time in two months in the first real test session of what promises to be a hard-fought and exciting season. The two Ducati Marlboro Team riders got to grips with the 2004-spec bikes at the circuit where the Italian machines had struggled slightly in last October's Malaysian GP.
The first day of testing saw riders and engineers obtain a clear idea of the latest modifications made to the beautiful new Desmosedici D16GP4 in view of the first round of the MotoGP championship scheduled for 18 April at the Welkom Circuit in South Africa.
The day was characterized by the hot and sultry weather (air 28°-34° C/track 33°-58° C) typical of this area, but a light breeze made working conditions easier for riders and team staff, who were satisfied with the day's work.
Bayliss completed a total of 44 laps, setting a best time of 2'04.208, well over half a second quicker than his last year's race time (2'04.989). The Australian, who used a 16.5" front tyre, was satisfied with his performance today: "I went quicker than last year's race time" he declared, "and that's a good sign. I've already got a good feeling with the bike, even though I've had to get used to the smaller 16.5" tyre again after using a 17" one for such a long time. Although I always used the smaller tyre in Superbike, the feeling is different. The Desmosedici however is very easy to ride and we've got two more days on this track to continue with the set-up work and get the best out of the bike."
Loris Capirossi also had a positive day, setting a quickest time of 2'03.883 in his 38 laps. This was a good result for the Italian, who also used exclusively the smaller front, and who focussed on set-up work and without pushing hard. "I'm really happy with the bike, which now handles much better, although we've still got a lot of work to do" declared Capirossi. "The Desmosedici is still new and we are doing a lot of testing work with the 16.5" front. To get a better idea of today's performance, last year we could only manage this time on the final day of the tests, with a soft tyre. The bike now feels good, and is a lot easier to handle and manage than last year's bike."