Biaggi ends test 1.2 secs faster than Rossi

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Max Biaggi has continued his dominance of Honda’s pre-season MotoGP testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia by ending the final day with a best lap 1.2 seconds faster than Valentino Rossi’s best 2003 race lap.

Biaggi used the day to test a range of different tyres, spending most of his time running on a 17-inch front wheel. He briefly experimented with a 16.5-inch rim but the Italian is not keen on the smaller wheel and Honda only has a limited number of them to share between all its riders.

Biaggi knocked 0.3 seconds off his best time from yesterday to finish today’s session with a best time of 2:02.6, 1.2 seconds faster than Rossi’s best race time at the Malaysian GP last year and only 0.2 seconds off Rossi’s best qualifying lap.

Rossi makes his debut appearance on the Yamaha at Sepang this weekend and it remains to be seen whether the 2003 world champion will be able to match Biaggi’s times on a bike that last year proved to be far slower than the Honda.

The only rider to come close to Biaggi’s time was Sete Gibernau with a best lap of 2:02.7, with the rest of the Honda riders circling over 2:03.

Kawasaki riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann spent the morning testing new engine components for the ZX-RR before moving on to try a range of Bridgestone front tyres. Nakano clocked a best lap of 2:04.8 with Hofmann following behind with 2:05.2.

The Yamaha teams are currently setting up camp at the circuit for their test session this weekend. Valentino Rossi will make his debut on the Gauloise Yamaha YZF-M1 along with team-mate Carlos Checa, while Fortuna Yamaha has confirmed that Norick Abe will be lining up with Marco Melandri for the coming season.


Max Biaggi 2:02.6

Sete Gibernau 2:02.7

Tohru Ukawa 2:03.2 (Riding the 2004 prototype Honda RCV)

Nicky Hayden 2:03.2

Colin Edwards 2:03.3

Shinya Nakano 2:04.8

Alex Hofmann 2:05.2

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff