February 13, 2006 at 10:20 pm #11434Born2BMildParticipant
The final day of testing at a scorching Sepang circuit saw the Repsol Honda team putting in a huge amount of work in preparation for the upcoming tests and the 2006 MotoGP season.
Nicky Hayden again focussed on developing the RC211V, completing a gruelling 95 laps while testing chassis parts and many variations of Michelin race tyres. In the afternoon, in temperatures reaching 34 degrees, he completed a 20-lap session, one lap short of a full race distance and also ran on qualifying tyres.
New signing Dani Pedrosa also put in his longest stint so far on the Repsol Honda, with an impressive 13-lap session which included nine consecutive laps within the 2m 02s bracket. This bodes well as the 20-year-old 250cc World Champion works to improve his endurance and strength, having moved up this year to the more physically demanding MotoGP machines.
Over the three days the riders have clocked up a massive 1540 miles between them on the demanding 5.54km
(3.44 miles) Sepang race track, with Hayden putting in 850 miles and Pedrosa a valuable 690 miles.
Now the team flies directly to Australia for another three-day test at the Phillip Island circuit, beginning on Tuesday January 31.
Nicky Hayden 2m 01.69s. Laps completed: 95
“Three days in the books and it’s over. We’ve definitely learned a lot in the test and we can look forward to taking it to Phillip Island. If what we like here works there then it’s pretty good for our weapon. They’re two very different tracks because Phillip Island has a lot more high-speed corners.
Today didn’t go especially great for me. We tested some tyres and stuff I liked. We tested a lot of things and racked up, in the end, probably too many laps and it all got a bit numb for me. But we had a bit of work to get through and we got through it all. I enjoy being back here with the boys and I feel good.”
Dani Pedrosa 2m 01.51s. Laps completed: 77
“Today we did many laps and I got more and more feeling for the bike. We tried some race starts for the first time, at the end we did some tyre testing for Michelin and I did one longer run during which I learned that the Michelins are quite consistent. I tried a qualifying tyre for the first time too. I was worried at the beginning about crashing so by the time I realised how much grip the tyre had I was more than halfway through the lap. So I am happy with my time. I haven’t really thought about the next test. I just want to relax for a few days and then I’ll get back in the groove in Australia.”
Makoto Tanaka – Repsol Honda Team Manager
“This test has been very valuable for us and we have gained a lot of information that will be useful for the next tests in Phillip Island and back here in Sepang in February. Because of his experience Nicky has been doing most of the development work on the RC211V and he tested many things – perhaps he did too many laps, he was very tired at the end of three days, which is understandable.
Dani made very good step-by-step progress. He tried a qualifying tyre for the first time and he was very good, we are pleased. He also did a longer session and was consistently fast, so we are happy with this too.”
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