Thursday, February 01, 2007

MotoGP: Phillip Island Test Day 3

Nicky Hayden topped the timesheets on the final day of the Phillip Island MotoGP test, ahead of his tiny team-mate Dani Pedrosa, then a flock of Ducatis.
Honda seem to have wrung out some speed from their new bike in qualifying trim, but their pace on race tyres still needs to improve. It is interesting that Hayden managed to lap faster than Pedrosa, whose child-like body the 800cc Honda was allegedly designed for.
Ducati are still fast around Phillip Island. Capirossi, Stoner, Hofmann and Barros were separated by around 3 tenths of a second. Alex Hofmann did well to close up on his vastly more experienced d'Antin team-mate.
Suzuki's time at Phillip Island has been a nightmare. Their 800cc bike is just as mediocre around the seagull-plagued track as their 990cc machine was. Of course, their 2006 bike was designed as a testbed for the 800cc rules, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but it is still a disappointment after their impressive testing pace at other racetracks.
The next test is back at Sepang next week. All teams are expected to attend.

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