Nakano fastest at MotoGP penultimate practise

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    Gix
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    Nakano fastest at MotoGP penultimate preseason practice

    With a large amount of spectators in both grandstand and paddock, the penultimate fine-tuning opportunity for the MotoGP teams and riders took place in Jerez today.

    After a strong performance in yesterday’s first session at the Andalusian track, Shinya Nakano put in the fastest lap of the day. Going round in 1’40.047, the Japanese rider was over half a second faster than the Jerez circuit record. With talk of Kawasaki being adversely affected by the crashing of one of their trucks en route to the Test, both Nakano and fourth placed Randy de Puniet put in impressive showings.

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    With Ducati dominating proceedings yesterday, and again at midday, Loris Capirossi continued the team’s positive preseason with the second fastest time of the day. Team-mate Sete Gibernau, heading the leaderboard as of 1pm local time, finished the day in eighth.

    John Hopkins, one of the standout riders from the MotoGP Official Test in Catalunya last weekend, once again showed that he has adapted well to the new GSR-V. He will be hoping that his current good form continues into the first race and beyond, as he looks to earn victories for his Suzuki factory team.

    Honda riders were slightly off the lead pace for the second day running in Jerez. Dani Pedrosa was the only rider to place in the top ten for the Japanese factory, with his preferred dry weather conditions helping him to put in a large number of laps on the RC211V.

    After a largely inconspicuous ride yesterday, charismatic World Champion Valentino Rossi was the fastest Yamaha of the day, finishing in sixth only a few milliseconds ahead of Carlos Checa.

    Rossi’s team-mate Colin Edwards was over a second off Nakano’s hot lap in ninth, whilst the other Suzuki representative Chris Vermeulen rode times close to the Texan M Award winner to round off the top ten.

    With the sun shining and temperatures at around 20 degrees, the weather was nearly identical to yesterday’s fine conditions. It was only an occasional fresh wind that stopped the day being ideal for testing.

    Tomorrow sees the final day of both the Jerez Test and the entire preseason, and both teams and riders will be looking for optimal results in order to head to March 26th’s curtain-raising Grand Prix at the Jerez circuit with morale at a peak.

    MotoGP Jerez Test

    Times: Day 2

    1. Shinya Nakano – Kawasaki Racing 1’40.047
    2. Loris Capirossi – Ducati Marlboro 1’40.544
    3. John Hopkins – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’40.791
    4. Randy de Puniet – Kawasaki Racing 1’40.839
    5. Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda 1’40.859
    6. Valentino Rossi – Camel Yamaha 1’40.915
    7. Carlos Checa – Tech 3 Yamaha 1’40.943
    8. Sete Gibernau – Ducati Marlboro 1’40.964
    9. Colin Edwards – Camel Yamaha 1’41.105
    10. Chris Vermeulen – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’41.110

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