Roberts second quickest… behind Rossi

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Defending world champion Valentino Rossi set the fastest time in rain-interrupted official MotoGP tests at Jerez on Wednesday (March 31).

His domination on his new Yamaha comes after setting the fastest time at the first official test at Catalunya at the weekend. All the MotoGP teams bar Aprilia are at Jerez.

Rossi set a 1.42.656, 0.132 seconds inside his own lap record. But Suzuki were the surprise package with Kenny Roberts pushing Rossi closest and John Hopkins sixth fastest – despite still recovering from ankle injury.

Colin Edwards was fastest Honda rider in third while Neil Hodgson was top Ducati rider… in 13th. Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss struggled to get to grips with their new 2004 Dukes.

Practice continues on Thursday, April 1, but more rain is forecast. This is the final test before the season starts in Welkom on April 18.

Wednesday lap times:

1. V. Rossi Yamaha); 1'42.656 - 39 laps, 2. K. Roberts (Suzuki); 1'42.761 - 39 laps, 3. C. Edwards (Honda); 1'42.771 - 40 laps 4. C. Checa (Yamaha); 1'42.927 - 50 laps 5. A. Barros (Honda); 1'42.974 - 43 laps 6. J. Hopkins (Suzuki); 1'43.314 - 47 laps 7. S. Nakano (Kawasaki); 1'43.386 - 40 laps 8. S. Gibernau (Honda); 1'43.408 - 30 laps 9. N. Hayden (Honda); 1'43.457 - 43 laps 10. M. Tamada (Honda); 1'43.541 - 40 laps 11. M. Biaggi (Honda); 1'43.980 - 40 laps 12. A. Hofmann (Kawasaki); 1'44.009 - 49 laps 13. N. Hodgson (Ducati); 1'44.140 - 45 laps 14. M. Melandri (Yamaha); 1'44.470; 55 laps 15. G. Lavilla (Suzuki); 1'44.494 - 48 laps 16. L. Capirossi (Ducati); 1'44.544 - 27 laps 17. T. Bayliss (Ducati); 1'44.595 - 45 laps 18. R. Xaus (Ducati); 1'44.662 - 50 laps 19. N. Abe (Yamaha); 1'45.564 - 47 laps 20. V. Guareschi (Ducati); 1'48.730 - 29 laps 21. N. Aoki (Proton KR); 1'49.414 - 16 laps

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff