A new spec Honda RC212V engine helped Dani Pedrosa clock the best time on the opening day of testing at a cool and windy Jerez.
Using two new 2009 prototype machines at the final test session of 2008, the Spaniard clocked a best time of 1.39.525 as most of the MotoGP field assessed a new surface at the Jerez circuit.
Pedrosa’s best time was set on the penultimate lap of a 41-stint today as most of this morning was spent waiting for track temperatures to reach a level where meaningful testing was possible.
Air temperatures were only seven degrees earlier, but once on track, Pedrosa was always in the top three as his best time beat his own lap record by 0.6s. He was also 0.610s clear of reigning world champion Valentino Rossi, who was back on two wheels today after his recent Ford Focus rally and Ferrari Formula One appearances.
Pedrosa, who finished third in the 2008 world championship, said: “They resurfaced the whole track in August and the new one is very grippy and smooth. I could do some good lap times despite the cold temperature and strong wind.
"We focused mainly on the engine but the low temperatures mean we started late and stopped early, so we need another day to give a better evaluation of the latest engine configuration, which is quite different than before.”
New teammate Andrea Dovizioso was immediately delighted with his first taste of the 2009 prototype V4.
The Italian was seventh quickest having clocked a best time of 1.41.655 in 48 laps.
The former world 125 champion has one 2008 bike and one new prototype at his disposal and he said: “I did three or four exits on the 2008 bike and then started on the 2009 bike. The feeling was immediately much better.
"The whole package is better and it feels more controllable. It is a good sign that the new prototype is already better.”