Sepang testing - HAYDEN TAKES FASTEST! - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sepang testing - CE is ON THE GAS

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."

__________________________________________________ ________________


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."
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Comparative lap times:

Previous best Sepang test laps:
Honda: Max Biaggi ITA Camel Honda 2min 2.585secs (22/1/2004)
Yamaha: Valentino Rossi ITA Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 2mins 2.75secs (26/1/2004)

Malaysian Grand Prix (12/10/2003):
Pole position: Valentino Rossi ITA Repsol Honda 2min 2.48secs
Fastest lap: Valentino Rossi ITA Repsol Honda 2min 3.822secs

Fastest Yamaha lap: Carlos Checa SPA Fortuna Yamaha 2min 4.193secs
Fastest Ducati lap: Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro 2min 4.486secs
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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day two times:

1. Biaggi (Honda) 2'02"750
2. Edwards (Honda) 2'02"845
3. Gibernau (Honda) 2'02"850
4. Hayden (Honda) 2'02"855
5. Rossi (Yamaha) 2'03"001
6. Tamada (Honda) 2'03"490
7. Checa (Yamaha) 2'03"705
8. Capirossi (Ducati) 2'03"914
9. Akiyoshi (Suzuki) 2'03"943
10. Itoh (Honda) 2'04"083
11. Nakano (Kawasaki) 2'04"318
12. Hofmann (Kawasaki ) 2'04"568
13. Bayliss (Ducati) 2'04"568
14. Abe (Yamaha) 2'04"994
15. Melandri (Yamaha) 2'05"137
16. Lavilla (Suzuki) 2'05"290
17. Xaus (Ducati) 2'05"628
18. Hodgson (Ducati) 2'05"919
19. McWilliams (Aprilia) 2'05"934
20. Byrne (Aprilia) 2'06"300

The times on show Barros between Nakano and Hofmann with 2'04"4.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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The second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang saw a thrilling five-way fight for supremacy as the new Hondas of Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and Sete Gibernau – plus Yamaha's Valentino Rossi – all stepped up to challenge man of the moment Max Biaggi, on a rival RCV.

After a scorching hot day of non-stop action, the timing screens showed the Camel coloured Roman had resisted his rivals thanks to a 'approximate' lap of 2min 2.7secs (his timing transponder was removed) - but it was only just enough; Edwards got to within a tenth of Biaggi after delivering his fastest ever Sepang circulation – while Gibernau (also without transponder) and Hayden were a mere fraction behind the #45.

"The second day is always a little harder, especially after the first day's exertions," began Biaggi. "We changed some suspension settings today to see how they affected the bike, and maybe we lost a little time. Nevertheless, when you are working hard you always get better though.

"We worked a lot on race simulations and the bike's configurations for these. So the results today were that we are getting the rewards for our hard work. Looking at the other riders and their times too I feel we're going into an era where there'll be a lot of surprises and a lot of things happening. It's good," he smiled.

"Today, Max's fastest lap was practically the same as yesterdays, but he had a more constant rhythm, in other words he was lapping faster for a longer time," stressed team owner Sito Pons.

For Edwards the day was perhaps even more successful, something he partially attributed to his greater knowledge of the 16.5” front tyre.

"I had a plan to use the 17-inch front tyre today and tell everyone else how good it was and then use the 16.5 inch (instead), but that doesn't seem to have worked!" he joked. "But seriously, the work we're doing with the 16.5” is good now, I know it's a good tyre because I helped develop it, and Michelin have brought new stuff here which is 90% new to me as well as the other riders. I know maybe a little how to make the difference or where the limits are a little more though, I know the warning signs better."

Team-mate Gibernau has plenty of ideas for future developments, and significantly is working on getting maximum performance from his machine during a specific 'window' - just after half race distance.

"I still think that we can work on the clutch and the engine braking on the RC211V, but at the moment we don't have anything new to test on the bike so we are focusing on tyres," he said. "I think races will be won in the mid- to three-quarter stage of a race, and that's where I'm looking at. I'm happy, because we are consistent, and the things Michelin have brought to the table are good. We'll continue working tomorrow on this, and hoping that soon we'll have more things to try from Honda."

For factory rider Hayden the drop in lap time put him up with the 'headline' group, and unlike Gibernau the Repsol rider has plenty of new parts to test.

"I felt like I was ridin' a lot better today – especially in the mornin' (but) I kinda' got in a rut after lunch and wasn't makin' as much progress, as I'd have liked," said Nicky. "The new swing arm is takin' a lil' getting' used to – gives a lil' more grip and we tried some new shocks today that helped a lil' under braking. We've got some things to work on tomorrow but we're definitely goin' in the right direction. Much better today than yesterday."

After the Honda quartet came Rossi, the Italian trimmed 0.1secs from his Wednesday best as he rode with a new prototype engine, to leave him 0.16secs behind Hayden on a day when 0.25secs covered the top five. Should Rossi match his Yamaha debut best, that quarter-second deficit would disappear instantly.

"Today we worked 100% on the new engine spec and in the end we achieved a similar lap time to yesterday," began Rossi. "I'm quite happy because we are working with a totally new prototype. There are some teething problems which we need to fix but for sure this engine has more potential than the other one we've been using.

"I am certain that this is the right way to continue, although we still need a bit more power," he admitted. "However I think it is better to go a bit more slowly at this point with the new engine and achieve better results in the long run. I am confident that we can continue improving tomorrow."

While Yamaha may have been disappointed to have let several more Hondas slip ahead, they could at least draw consolation from the fact that Carlos Checa was finally able to put his M1 within sight of Rossi, the Spaniard finishing the day a 'competitive' 0.3secs adrift of his illustrious team-mate as he continued to refine his M1 set-up, and test Michelin tyre combinations.

"I feel fine with this chassis today and managed to find some good lap times. We finally got the kind of results we have been looking for," confessed Checa. "We worked with various tyres but eventually stuck with the one we used here at the last Sepang test. I improved my average lap time and did a few .03s - this is the most important thing. Obviously there are still areas we need to work on but we are making developments each time we test."

One man not so pleased was Makoto Tamada, who felt that he's not improving as fast as the comptition - and believes that the recent tyre problems suffered by Bridgestone are holding him back.

"I can't really be happy because I'm not too fast when compared to the other riders, they have a better fast lap. Anyway, my problem at the moment is consistency, and mainly in the tyres," said the Japanese. "They are just small problems though, and maybe after (the tyre failures) - like I had in Sepang last time, and that of Kenny Roberts yesterday - I think we will begin to see Bridgestone move forward."

Further back, Alex Barros looked more confident with is new Repsol Honda as the day progressed – and the result was a reduction in lap time of 1.5secs over yesterday with a 2mins 4.427secs best.

"I feel pretty sore today which is not surprising as yesterday was the first time I had ridden in three months," began Barros. "The shoulder is feeling OK and I have to keep putting ice on the keep it calm. It's definitely feeling a lot better every day.

"I'm tired now but have a lot more confidence in the bike than yesterday. I need to keep running – my feeling for the machine has improved in a day. Sometimes I think I'm pushing hard – it'll come naturally. I need more time to understand the machine – more experience of the bike.

"We spent most of the day riding one bike and making adjustments to it – different links, changing suspension units, the mapping and 16.5-inch tyre. I've improved my lap time from this morning and am quite happy really," Alex concluded.

One rider with plenty to think about after day two was Marco Melandri - the former 250cc world champion is still chasing a set-up on his Tech 3 run Yamaha, and its starting to concern him.

"I am happy with my shoulder recovery so far this week. The problem is that I feel a little bit deluded because we have now tested for five days (including the last Sepang test) and we are still struggling to find a set-up which I feel completely comfortable with," he said after his 2min 5.13secs best. "Sepang is not one of my favourite circuits but I thought that I would improve more here. We have got a lot of work to do to solve our problems."
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for all the info phozed.
Good to see Hayden turning in the lap times he did, should make for an exciting MotoGP racing season.
Interesting to see so many of the riders/teams going with the 16.5" front again...

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 11:04 AM
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Uh Oh. Rossi is running pretty quick right now. Light a fire under that Italian and .25 seconds will vanish.

There is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all the universe. Nothing remains in its original state, each day, each hour, each moment, there is change. Change is the essence of life. Embrace change as you do life. To fight change is to live in the past.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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day 3 - Hayden!!!

1. Hayden (Honda) 2.02.041
2. Biaggi (Honda) 2.02.108
3. Gibernau (Honda) 2.02.496
4. Edwards (Honda) 2.02.597
5. Rossi (Yamaha) 2.02.746
6. Tamada (Honda) 2.02.962
7. Checa (Yamaha) 2.03.100
8. Capirossi (Ducati) 2.03.530
9. Bayliss (Ducati) 2.03.554
10. Barros (Honda) 2.03.558
11.Itoh (Honda) 2.03.936
12. Akyhoshi (Suzuki) 2.03.729
13. Nakano (Kawasaki) 2.04.625
14.Hodgson (Ducati) 2.04.674
15. Meandri (Yamaha) 2.04.753
16. Lavilla (Suzuki) 2.04.756
17. Hofmann (Kawasaki) 2.04.817
18. Xaus (Ducati) 2.04.929
19. Abe (Yamaha) 2.05.059
20. Byrne (Aprilia) 2.05.150
21. McWilliams (Aprilia) 2.06.574
22. Pitt (Moriwaki) 2.06.912
23. Watanabe (Suzuki) 2.07.705
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hayden Fastest At Sepand Test
by staff
Friday, February 13, 2004

This just in from HRC:

Hayden sounds warning shot out to rivals as Honda's Sepang test winds down

Factory Repsol Honda rider Nicky Hayden was in fine form on the final day of three at Sepang in Malaysia, improving his previous best lap of the circuit by nearly a second and instilling a good deal of confidence in himself and his team, as he and the other Honda riders move on to Australia for yet another three day test. Hayden was even able to finish early, as all of his Honda colleagues continued until around five o'clock on another scorching day at the equatorial track.

Temperatures were once again hovering between the 32š and 35šC mark, whilst on the track surface it reached well into the 50šs. Hayden set his time early morning amongst a clutch of fast laps, whilst his fellow riders improved steadily throughout the day. Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards and Makoto Tamada all joined Hayden under the psychologically fast 2'03 bench-mark, whilst Alex Barros continued with his adaptation to the RC211V after a year's absence and a shoulder operation, with surprisingly good results.

Nicky Hayden - 2m 02.041s 41 laps

"I'd be lyin' if I said it didn't feel good but I gotta' remember this is still only practice! It really helps to be comfortable with the team and I think it shows. We've done a good job over the last few days and I'm happy. We've had a few problems but we are more experienced about fixin' them now. I've never been that good in testin' - I'm usually best on Sunday so we're feelin' positive. The bike feels good - Honda has made a great bike even better over the winter. The 16.5-inch front feels real good - just like I'm used to with a Superbike. I just feel I can be more focussed on ridin' the bike this year than last. Last year I guess I had some excuses - I was learnin'. This year I wanna' win races. I'm lookin' forward to getting' down to Phillip Island - a track I really like - and getting' the bike to go fast there. Then back to Europe for more tests; then racin'. Can't wait."

Trevor Morris - Hayden Crew Chief

"Put simply, we achieved everything we set out to over the three days . . . And more. Day one was hard - getting back into it and getting used to a slightly different feel to the bike. Yesterday we found a really good base setting and managed to put in some fast laps. Today Nicky went straight out and rode fast and consistently. We now go down to Phillip Island and look to get a good base setting and go fast again - at a track Nicky likes. We'll then come back to Europe and try to do the same again. We packed up early today because we had done our work early - and fast."

Max Biaggi - 2m 02.108s 52 laps

"Another good day for me at this track, I showed I can go fast in these difficult conditions, and consistently too, so that is a good thing. The

16. 5-inch front tyre from Michelin gives me a lot of confidence on the front end of the bike, which is so important from the rider's point of view. I like it a lot! Now the important thing is to repeat this at Phillip Island, it will be good to change the scenery a little bit, and I look forward to testing down there."

Sete Gibernau - 2m 02.496s 42 laps

"Every day we've been able to do exactly what we want, and also today I'm more than pleased with how things have gone. We wanted to go race distance, or as close as possible, and we actually did the 21 laps easily, and we were quite a bit quicker than in the race here. That's alone, without the stress and pressure of a race too. That makes me happy, that's what we wanted. We were putting 2'02s together, and that's why I'm happy, we want to be there at the first race. I'm still deciding between two sizes of

16. 5-inch front tyre, but I did that race simulation with my least favourite so, that's good."

Colin Edwards - 2m 02.597s 33 laps

"When you get with a new bike you start from scratch, and the key is to gather as much information as possible, so that when you get to the first race you know what to do, what to change, what setting you're looking for. At the moment, I'm just getting that information together, the bank is not full, but it's getting there. Fabrizio (Cecchini - Chief mechanic) listens to my comments and advises on where to go and it usually improves it so that's a good thing we've got going there. We're building up the database and we're getting there."

Makoto Tamada - 2m 02.962s 45 laps

"It was a very difficult day today, because I arrived here from Japan with the flu, and today I think was the worst day of the three. I had a little fever, and riding there's no problem because you are concentrating, but then when you're sitting around waiting for the bike to be fixed or whatever, it is tiring, and it starts to take its toll. In any case, from the bike's point of view it's been a good three days, we've worked a lot on the set-up of the 2004 bike, and have learned a lot about it. We can appreciate the different possibilities now, and seen the improvement you can get out of it. I would like to have gone faster if the conditions had suited it, but it wasn't possible, we'll see now in Australia."

Luca Montiron - Team Manager Makoto Tamada, Camel Honda

"This year's second series of tests has given some good results. Even though Tamada was considerably handicapped by his precarious physical condition, I could see he was really concentrating hard. After the three days investigating the ideal set-up for the bike, and after the forthcoming tests in Australia, I'm hoping that by the time we get to the Catalunya tests we'll be able to bring our full potential to bear."

Alex Barros - 2m 03.588s 53 laps

"For me that was a hard few days; great to be back on a bike after so long away. I'm now sore and tired. We use ice on my shoulder and it helps. My confidence is coming back again and it's good to be back on the Honda again. Although I have to learn all the reference points again it is a relaxed bike to ride. I have much feeling on the Honda -the tyres, the suspension. I've only used the 16.5-inch front a little. Too early to say yet. The set-up is not right but I feel I'm improving with every day. My lap times are constant and they will improve with my fitness. Tendons have to heal naturally so it will take a time to regain 100% fitness and this is the goal for the start of the season."

Ramon Forcada - Barros Crew Chief

"I am satisfied with the way the new team is working over the past few days. Alex is doing everything we want. Step at a time. The start of the season is still a way off and every day his condition improves. He hasn't ridden for a long time and it takes time top adjust to a new bike anyway but it has been a useful three days. We move to Phillip Island with a good base foundation and something to build on."
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 09:34 AM
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2004, 03:04 AM
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Originally posted by Blade Runner
Uh Oh. Rossi is running pretty quick right now. Light a fire under that Italian and .25 seconds will vanish.
Yes&no.... i think Rossi's skill over the bike's capabilities is still highly evident in this testing. Rossi is 0.5 seconds faster than the next fastest Yamaha. How much faster he can go still remains ot be seen. He has a 1/2 second gap to close up which is huge considering all of the 4 top Honda riders are all wintin a 1/2 second. The Hondas are still on a different playing field.

The Hondas simply put the power on the ground and give excellent feedback in the corners... that's the key. I think Yamaha is struggling with putting the power to the ground... but Rossi is making up for it with his amazing throttle control and bike handling skill that nobody else can match.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2004, 11:23 PM
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go nicky!!!

It is great to see the kentucky kid doing so well!!
Rossi is a great rider to be where he is at with the limited time on the bike. give him a year and see.
nicky and colin could be an epic battle with sete and rossi biaggi is old news.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 08:05 AM
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Location: Chicago
Sportbike: 250x_Dirtbike Triumph_Tripled_955i 90_H-D_Bagger CR80_Mini_Motard
Years Riding: Street_LOOOOOOONG_Time Track Backmarker
How you found us: Google
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