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Daijiro Kato is fastest in the first day of Honda tests in Sepang

Daijiro Kato is fastest in the first day of Honda tests in Sepang

Daijiro Kato is fastest in the first day of Honda tests in Sepang

The different teams representing Honda in the 2003 MotoGP World Championships today finished their first tests in Sepang. The session took place under high temperatures and with a dirty track caused by recent car racing activities. The best time of the day was recorded by Daijiro Kato, with a lap of 2´03.08.

The rider from Fausto Gresini squad, used the occasion to sharpen development work on the 2003 RC 211V. His work today focussed on various `settings´ and new material to further strengthen the mechanical base he had begun to establish in previous tests during the month of January. `I am really happy,´ explained Kato. `Today I experimented with a different way to ride and an improvement arrived immediately. I knew there was room to better the times we made in January and this motivated me a lot for today but I am prepared to try whatever it takes to go even quicker.´

Rossi, and his American teammate, Nicky Hayden, tested the latest version of the RC211V HRC brought to Sepang and both men were delighted with machine development in the short period between test sessions. Rossi completed 61 laps of the circuit while Hayden put in an astonishing 84 laps. Valentino Rossi: ´Today was the first day on the new 2003 bike and it went well. Our main goal was to set the bike up and not go for the best time. I am happy with the feel of the machine and much of the work we did here at Sepang a month ago testing components has been of good benefit on the new bike. The weather here is good and I\'m looking forward to another good day tomorrow.´

Rossi notched the second best time of the test (2´03.9), still quite far from the spectacular lap he achieved in the last test towards the end of January, when he faced up against new team-mate and deadly rival Max Biaggi for a 2´02. 6.

The unofficial times were:
Daijiro Kato: 2'03.08, Valentino Rossi: 2´03.9, Max Biaggi: 2´04.0, Tohru Ukawa: 2m 04.3, Sete Gibernau: 2'04.06, Nicky Hayden: 2´05.3, Makoto Tamada: 2´05.3. Shinichi Ito: 2´05.4.

MotoGP, 2003

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