Thursday, November 30, 2006

MotoGP Jerez Day 2: Rossi Tops Timesheet

Day two of the MotoGP test at Jerez was more successful than day one, with all teams completing dozens of laps.
Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets with a 1:40.688, which is stunningly fast, just hundredths off the circuit's race lap record. Dani Pedrosa was a tenth behind Rossi, with Colin Edwards 4 tenths further back in 3rd. John Hopkins on the Suzuki was just a fraction behind Edwards, and Vermeulen was 4 tenths behind that.
This meant that Suzuki were the fastest Bridgestone runners, ahead of the Ducatis of Stoner then Capirossi, then Marco Melandri on his Bridgestone-clad Honda.
It seems that losing the title has just made Rossi more determined, but Pedrosa is very fast on the new Honda 800. Why was Pedrosa so much faster than the other Hondas? Well, the theories on the net range from Kropotkin thinking that Pedrosa is being given new HRC parts before everybody else, to Matthew Birt being just plain baffled.
I think that it's pretty reasonable to assume Pedrosa would get new parts before everybody else, and also that the new 800cc Honda was quite simply built to his exact measurements and preferences. After building him championship winning 250cc bikes, Honda know what the little guy is looking for. Couple that with an upgraded engine and his stunning 250cc talent, and fast laps are sure to follow.
Britain's Chaz Davies didn't get to ride the Ilmor yesterday. He should get his chance today. Andrew Pitt chucked his Ilmor X3 down the road yesterday, and the team had all kinds of electrical issues. Their 2007 lineup is still a mystery.
So far, Rossi is still Rossi, Pedrosa is looking great, the Suzuki still looks like a serious contender for wins. Today is the last day of MotoGP running before the winter testing ban. Let's see if they can throw up a bit more intrigue to keep us going.


Alessandro Matteucci said...

If I recall correctly even Hayden complained about lack of power at the last test event. It would have been interesting to see him compared to Danni. Anyhow I am still upset in seeing Melandro on the Honda: I can not just forget that he could have been riding the Duke

Jimmy said...

I think it's still too early to say whether staying with Honda will be the right move for Marco.
Being a former 250cc champion himself, he should do well on a bike designed to suit Pedrosa.