Hayden tops Jerez test

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The final three days of MotoGP testing before the start of the season ended with a surprise top three this weekend.

Rain slowed the opening day of the test but as the weather cleared it was the younger riders that came to dominate with Honda rider Nicky Hayden setting the fastest lap of the test.

Check out MCN this week for a full run down of the test including interviews with all the top riders.

The second fastest time was set by Honda new boy Marco Melandri who seams to have got to grips with his new ride finishing just .3 of a second behind Hayden.

But the man that was drawing raised eyebrows around the paddock was Suzuki rider John Hopkins who set a blistering pace on the new GSV-R managing to hold on to the third fastest time and pushing current champion Valentino Rossi down in to fourth spot.

Rossi confirmed that the team has now completely sorted the front end problems that dogged the Italian throughout the winter. He tried a new setup on the rear of the bike but it caused more trouble than it was worth and the quickly moved back.

Fifth fastest time was set by the Ducati of Loris Capirossi with Alex Barros’ Honda in sixth, while Rossi’s main rival for the championship, Sete Gibernau, finished almost 0.7 seconds down on Hayden.

Brit Shane Byrne managed to knock four seconds off his time over the three days, but the Team KR KTM rider still finished 20th overall, over a second slower than the fastest 250 rider.

Byrne was positive that the machine will improve: “There is definitely more to come. On the final day the lap times came much easier. On day one I was busting my balls to do 1:47s but on day three the 1:44.2 was really comfortable.”

See the next page for the times fromt the three days.

Official times:

Day three:

1. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:39.983

2. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:40.291

3. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:40.418

4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:40.539

5. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1:40.559

6. Alex Barros (Honda) 1:40.569

7. Sete Gibernau (Honda) 1:40.662

8. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:41.284

9. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) 1:41.328

10. Makoto Tamada (Honda) 1:41.380

Day Two:

1. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) 1:42.112

2. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:42.139

3. Sete Gibernau (Honda) 1:42.278

4. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:42.359

5. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:42.573

6. Alex Hofman (Kawasaki) 1:42.699

7. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:42.710

8. Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) 1:43.083

9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:43.095

10. Troy Bayliss (Honda) 1:43.130

Day One:

1. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:40.893

2. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:41.045

3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:41.273

4. Sete Gibernau (Honda) 1:41.397

5. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:41.626

6. Alex Barros (Honda) 1:41.637

7. Makoto Tamada (Honda) 1:41.668

8. Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki) 1’41.702

9. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) 1’41.775

10. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’42.018

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff