Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MotoGP: Suzuki Still Red Hot at 2nd Sepang Test

After the 2nd of 3 days at Sepang, Suzuki have shown that their testing speed at the end of last year was no fluke. The light blue team are once again leading the field on their second Malaysian visit of the testing season.
John "Hopper" Hopkins has topped the timesheets for both of the first two days. Part of this has to be down to the Bridgestone tyres, which always perform well at Sepang, but it's clear that the new 800cc Suzuki is a wickedly fast machine. Last year, Hopper struggled valiantly in his attempts to finish on the podium. This year, he looks like a likely race winner.
Mixed in with the Suzukis were the two Yamahas of Rossi and Edwards, with the Texan beating The Doctor to a faster time. However, Matthew Birt reports that Rossi rode the fastest race simulation.
Birt also reveals that the Hondas are still woefully down on top speed compared to Ducati and Suzuki. This is amazing, considering that HRC have had nearly 2 months since the last test to wring more power out of the brand new V4. Nicky Hayden has reeled off some respectable times, and surprisingly has been faster than Honda's former 250cc World Champions, Pedrosa and Melandri, who were supposed to have an advantage over The Kentucky Kid on the new 800cc machines.
The d'Antin Ducatis are also very quick. It seems that Ducati are still struggling with the fancy electronics on the factory bikes, while the simpler customer machines are working beautifully.
It will be interesting to see if Honda can find any performance on the final day of the test.

4 comments:

Alessandro Matteucci said...

Why the Bridgestone are not performing well on Melandri's bike? I know that Honda is developed on Michelin, but still I was speculating a better performance by him... I hope that the opportunity with Ducati will not become a ghost for him

Jimmy said...

Well, according to Birty, Marco was struggling because the engine was too brutal when he got back on the power. I suppose that might have made it difficult to be smooth and get the best out of the tyres.

Alessandro Matteucci said...

I cannot believe that the world champion bike is not leading the group .... Who was in charge in developing the bike ... anybody in particular can be blamed for the "poor performance" at least vs the logical expectations?

Jimmy said...

I don't know, but I love it!
It looks like being a very exciting and unpredictable year of racing.

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