Monday, January 28, 2008

MotoGP Testing: Sepang Summary

The first test of the year is over, so here's a brief analysis of what went on at Sepang.

Nicky Hayden finished fastest, with a blistering lap. On qualifiers. Nicky has always been quick on qualifying rubber, and the sticky stuff has always masked the innate rubbishness of the 800cc Honda chassis. He did his fastest lap with the old steel-sprung engine, saying that the new engine, whose valves boing back pneumatically, was rubbish. OK, he said it needed a lot of work, but that's about as close as the Kentuckian gets to calling things rubbish. Things are looking surprisingly mediocre for Honda at this stage on race tyres.

Dani Pedrosa was crocked when the bike chucked him down the road and broke his wrist. He has undergone microsurgery (well it'd have to be, wouldn't it?) and is on the mend. However, he made underhand remarks about Hayden's ability to develop a bike. People who ram their team mate into a gravel trap shouldn't throw stones...

Casey Stoner was ominously fast, once the Ducati's trick electronics had been fixed. Marco Melandri wasn't.

Valentino Rossi wasn't all that fast at all, but seemed to like the Bridgestones. Except when they caught him out on one of his outlaps and nearly chucked him over the perimeter fence, anyway.

Kawasaki weren't very good, but distracted everybody from this by having the test riders try a "screamer" engine, which won't be used on the race bikes in the near future. Everyone said it sounded cool, which meant they weren't talking about how slow Ant West was. He was probably looking for his grid spot.

Suzuki were kind of OK on race tyres.

Jorge Lorenzo was very quick, Colin Edwards was very quick (as usual, when it doesn't count for anything) and James Toseland is getting ever closer to his Yamaha buddies (something that James Ellison never did).


Shaun said...

Marco Melandri was pretty slow in Sepang, don't know if he had any problems with the bike or what?

Good to see Hayden set the fastest lap

Jimmy said...

I think Marco's still trying to adjust to the bike. He seems to be getting there gradually, but it looks ominous.

Nicebloke said...

"which meant they weren't talking about how slow Ant West was. He was probably looking for his grid spot."

Hahaha, nice one Jimmy!

Jimmy said...

Yeah, poor old Ant's having a tough time of it. At least he should have an opportunity to do an entire year on one bike and show what he can do by the end of it.