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Major MotoGP test underway at Brno

Major MotoGP test underway at Brno

Major MotoGP test underway at Brno

Just days after the Cinzano British Grand Prix the majority of MotoGP riders were back in action on Wednesday after dashing across the continent to the Czech Republic for two days of tests at the Brno circuit. Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Aprilia all made the journey for a crucial opportunity to complete base set-up work ahead of the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky on the 17th August. A hold up for the Michelin trucks, stopped at the border customs post for examination, wasn´t enough to prevent the riders from lapping in earnest with their own tyres from 10am.

Fastest man on the first day was Max Biaggi, who lapped just outside his pole record from last season. The Italian, who clocked up 76 laps, concentrated on the set-up of a new chassis he was given at Donington and already used in the British GP. Biaggi´s team-mate Tohru Ukawa is not present at the test due to a left arm injury he sustained in his first lap crash on Sunday, although he is hopeful of returning to fitness in time to race at Sachsenring next week.

Troy Bayliss took the opportunity to get to know the Brno circuit, completing some 55 laps alongside his Ducati team-mate Loris Capirossi. Both riders concentrated on setting up the Desmosedici for round ten of the 2003 season although Capirossi was straight on the pace, lapping below the fastest time from last year´s race with a best effort of 1:59.8 after 33 laps. The Italian factory are also running a parallel session at Mugello this week, with test rider Vittoriano Guareschi and former Grand Prix star Randy Mamola providing some early feedback on their 2004 machine.

Sete Gibernau completed extensive tests on the `evolution´ RC211V, the bike with open exhausts which was discarded by Valentino Rossi at Assen and Donington. Rossi worked mainly on suspension settings on Wednesday, setting a best time of 2:00.9, with tyre tests and a new exhaust planned for Thursday. Team-mate Nicky Hayden was just half a second slower than the World Champion as he quickly got to grips with the fast and flowing Czech circuit.

Despite his crash on Sunday MotoGP rookie Marco Melandri continued to demonstrate his good form with the fourth fastest time of the day on the Yamaha. This circuit was the scene for the first ever victory for the M1 machine, at the hands of Biaggi last year, and the latest Italian promise rode it to a time of 2:00.0, almost two seconds quicker than team-mate Carlos Checa.

Colin Edwards tested the new chassis for his Aprilia RS Cube, with team-mate Noriyuki Haga set to take over on Thursday. Test rider Marcellino Lucchi rode an evolution version of the machine with several new parts the Italian factory plan to incorporate in the near future.

Unofficial lap times:

1. Biaggi (Honda) 1.59.7
2. Capirossi (Ducati) 1.59.8
3. Gibernau (Honda) 1.59.8
4. Melandri (Yamaha) 2.00.0
5. Rossi (Honda) 2.00.9
6. Tamada (Honda) 2.01.0
7. Haga (Aprilia) 2.01.3
8. Bayliss (Ducati) 2.01.4
9. Nakano (Yamaha) 2.01.5
10. Hayden (Honda) 2.01.5
11. Edwards (Aprilia) 2.01.6
12. Checa (Yamaha) 2.01.8
13. Itoh (Honda) 2.02.3

MotoGP, 2003

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