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Rossi takes a rain check at factory tests in Jerez

Rossi takes a rain check at factory tests in Jerez

Rossi takes a rain check at factory tests in Jerez

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was the only notable absentee as official factory HRC and Yamaha tests got underway in wet conditions at the Spanish circuit of Jerez today. The Italian´s Honda colleagues Nicky Hayden, Tohru Ukawa and Daijiro Kato all completed several laps aboard their RC211V machines whilst Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri, Alex Barros, Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano also braved the cold to get some valuable lap time aboard the Yamaha M1.

Rossi´s Chief Mechanic Jeremy Burgess revealed that, for him, the danger presented by the slippery track outweighed the advantages to be gained by testing, whilst for Hayden it was a crucial chance to gain wet weather experience after being brought up on a strict diet of hot and dusty conditions in the AMA Superbike series. The Kentucky-born youngster is likely to get a further taste of the fickle European weather over the remainder of the three day test, with further rain forecast until the end of the week.

`The tracks in America are really not suitable for riding on in the wet, so it is very important to get experience ahead of the MotoGP season,´ said Hayden. `Tthere were three or four races run in the wet in 2002, which is a good chunk of the season, so I was happy to get out there today and get plenty of laps in.´

Carlos Checa has yet to take delivery of his new water repellent suit but he led his new team-mate Melandri out into the rain regardless, amid fears that further tests in the springtime would be run in the dry and leave the young Italian with no wet experience on the M1 ahead of the first race at Suzuka in April.

MotoGP, 2002, Valentino Rossi

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