Suzuki riders close to Biaggi's best

Published: 21 January 2004

MotoGP testing in Sepang came to a close on Friday for the Suzuki, Kawasaki and Moriwaki teams, with all the squads claiming a big improvement over last year's machines.

Suzuki riders John Hopkins and Kenny Roberts finished the session happy with their progress on Friday after spending most of Thursday in the pits trying to find a rogue electrical fault on the GSV-R.

Both Hopkins and Roberts finished the session lapping around 2:03 which puts them on a par with most of the Honda riders that were at the circuit this week. And both were happy that the work that was carried out on the bike over the winter is beginning to pay off.

Alex Hofmann and Shinya Nakano finished the session lapping at just over 2:04 on the 2004 Kawasaki ZX-RR. Both riders spent the day testing different Bridgestone tyres and a range of suspension settings. Hofmann clocked his best time of the four-day test on Friday, at 2:04.43, but Nakano was disappointed to be unable to better his 2:04.47 fastest lap from Wednesday.

Andrew Pitt spent another day endurance testing the Moriwaki Dream Fighter running three 16-lap stints on the RC211V powered bike. Pitt said the bike was starting to feel really good but they need to work on tyre wear to prevent the Dunlops being worn too quickly.

This weekend will see the Yamaha teams take to the Sepang circuit with 2003 world champion Valentino Rossi making his debut on the YZF-M1. Check back regularly for the first pictures of Rossi on the Yamaha and all the latest news from MCN's man at the track, GP reporter Matt Birt.

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