Tyre supply hampers Hodgson’s test times
WSB champion Neil Hodgson finished the third and final day of his latest MotoGP test down on time and feeling down in the dumps.
He says his struggle has not been helped by a lack of the new Michelin tyres he is running on.
He finished the final day 12th fastest, with a time of 1:32.44, behind Aprilia-riding BSB champion Shane Byrne, and a full two seconds a lap behind the leading riders – Max Biaggi was fastest with Valentino Rossi fifth quickest.
Hodgson had expected a better supply of rubber. " I thought I’d get better treatment in MotoGP. But I’d rather not go racing than be a third-rate citizen, " he said.
For more on the problems Hodgson has been struggling to overcome, see MCN, February 25.
D’Antin Ducati team-mate Ruben Xaus did not ride due to a big crash on the second day of testing. He was kept in hospital in Melbourne due to bad bruising to his back and neck
Fellow Brits Shane Byrne and Jeremy McWilliams also failed to make much headway at the test. Byrne managed a best time of 1:32.28, while McWilliams was forced to fly home after the second day of testing due to broken ribs from the last testing session in Sepang.
It was a good final day for the Honda riders. Max Biaggi went out early in the morning and used the cooler track temperatures to good effect, putting in a time of 1:30.27. Meanwhile Colin Edwards and Sete Gibernau also put in times under the current lap record, set by Valentino Rossi in 2003. Nicky Hayden continued his good form from Sepang by equalling Rossi’s lap record with a time of 1:30.68. Rossi himself turned in a 1:30.80.
Makoto Tamada sat out the final day saying that his team had completed all the work they needed to do.
Final Phillip Island test times:
1) Biaggi 1:30.27. 2) Edwards 1:30.45. 3) Gibernau 1:30.60. 4) Hayden 1:30.68. 5) Rossi) 1:30.80. 6) Barros 1:30.88. 7) Capirossi 1:30.97. 8) Bayliss 1:31.64. 9) Checa 1:31.96. 10) Melandri 1:32.00. 11) Byrne 1:32.28. 12) Hodgson 1:32.44. 13) Abe 1:33.76.
Discuss these times on the MotoGP discussion board. For more from the Phillip Island test, including the challenge facing Hodgson, see MCN, February 25