Sepang GP tests: Day 1

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The Sepang circuit in Malaysia is home to almost every GP team over the next few days as the first major test session for 2005 is underway.

Loris Capirossi went quickest on the first day for many of the teams. His unofficial lap time of 2:02.18 was under the time set by reigning world champion Valentino Rossi (2:02.30). Alex Barros was third quickest on his return to the Camel Honda team.

Max Biaggi made his Repsol Honda debut sporting a special Dainese boot designed to protect his healing bone from a supermoto crash in November. Also debuting on new machines were Colin Edwards (Yamaha), Marco Melandri (Honda), Carlos Checa (Ducati), Ruben Xaus (Yamaha) and Toni Elias (Yamaha). Also present are Sete Gibernau, Makoto Tamada, and the Kawasaki pair of Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann. Elias had a rough start to his Fortuna Yamaha Tech3 season, with a low-speed fall dislocating the little finger on his right hand.

Fourth quickest was Kenny Roberts Jnr, who had arrived two days earlier along with team-mate John Hopkins. Both of the riders were positive about the new team structure with boss Paul Denning, and the changes made to the GSV-R over the closed season, with Hopkins claiming it was the biggest performance jump since he started riding for the team.

Also finishing up were the Honda 250cc squad, with Dani Pedrosa fastest of the six official factory riders. Hiroshi Aoyama was second quickest, followed by Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Yuki Takahashi, Hector Barbera and Thomas Luthi. The only drama was a crash for Takahasi near the end of the session, but the Japanese rookie escaped injury. The factory Aprilia 250cc squad arrive today to test along with several other privateer and factory teams.

Unoffical MotoGP times from day one:

Loris Capirossi 2:02.18

Valentino Rossi 2:02.30

Alex Barros 2:02.71

Kenny Roberts Jnr 2:03.00

Colin Edwards 2:03.08

Nicky Hayden 2:03.17

Max Biaggi 2:03.35

Sete Gibernau 2:03.40

Marco Melandri 2:03.50

Carlos Checa 2:03.57

Makoto Tamada 2:03.63.

Tory Bayliss 2:04.8

Ruben Xaus 2:04.9

Toni Elias 2:05.2.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff