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HRC trio dictate the pace in Suzuka IRTA test

HRC trio dictate the pace in Suzuka IRTA test

HRC trio dictate the pace in Suzuka IRTA test

Yesterday´s heavy downpours gave way to clear blue skies today at Suzuka Circuit, as the riders from the MotoGP category got down to business on the first day of two in the final pre-season IRTA test session. With all but one of the racers present of those scheduled to line-up for next week´s Skyy Vodka Grand Prix of Japan, it was once again Valentino Rossi who set a pace the others struggled to follow.

The Italian reigning World Champion has been in imperious form this winter as he continues to accustom himself to the powerful new factory Honda RC211V four-stroke. He set a quickest time of 2.05.086 today, and regularly lapped at a similar level. The Italian remarked, ´The test is very good and the time also, but we still have some little problems with the settings. The problem today was with the traction and with a lack of grip because of the rain yesterday, but tomorrow it should be better.´

Only two riders were able to get within one and a half seconds of Rossi, Honda Racing Corporation colleagues Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa. The trio had tested at the circuit as recently as last week, which may go some way to explaining their runaway performances, but all three will be certain contenders for next week´s race. In the HRC test it was Katoh who was quickest, but the Fortuna Honda Gresini rider was 0.371 seconds behind Rossi today, with Ukawa a further 0.305 back.


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