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Six MotoGP squads get back on track at Valencia test

Six MotoGP squads get back on track at Valencia test

Six MotoGP squads get back on track at Valencia test

Fortuna Yamaha, Marlboro Ducati, Alice Aprilia, Fuchs Kawasaki, Pramac Honda and Proton Team KR all returned to action in Valencia today, just two days after contesting the final round of the 2003 season at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The teams took the opportunity to wheel their machines out after watching a group of journalists complete a series of test laps on Monday, and for many it represented an early first chance to begin their preparations for the 2004 World Championship.

Alex Hofmann rode the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR with which he will contest his debut MotoGP season next year, although a major overhaul of the machine is expected this winter. With Garry McCoy having already confirmed his departure from the team, Andrew Pitt stayed on in Spain to stake his claim for the second seat after completing his own rookie season on Sunday.

Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki have yet to make any announcement on their futures but they were on hand to complete several laps aboard the Proton V5, whilst Marcelino Lucchi took over development of the Aprilia RS3 in the absence of Noriyuki Haga and Colin Edwards, who was busy making his Honda debut just 300km up the coast in Barcelona. Meanwhile, experienced Bridgestone test rider Shinichi Itoh joined Makoto Tamada on the Pramac Honda.

Carlos Checa and Norick Abe continued tests on the new evolution of Yamaha's Deltabox frame on their YZR-M1 machines, having both raced with the new chassis on Sunday. "We tried the current spec chassis this morning to confirm that we're heading in the right direction when we compare it to the new chassis, with which I raced on Sunday," said Checa, who completed 81 laps with a best time of 1'33.78.

"Then this afternoon we went back to the new one to improve my race set-up. We reconfirmed today that the new one is good - we only had a couple of hours using it during the race weekend, and today we can see more clearly that it has a lot of potential."

The test is set to continue on Wednesday before the teams and riders take a well-earned rest.

MotoGP, 2003

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