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Biaggi quickest on second day at Valencia

Biaggi quickest on second day at Valencia

Biaggi quickest on second day at Valencia

The second day of MotoGP testing at the Valencia circuit in Spain was blessed with dry and sunny conditions on Thursday, allowing all of the riders to lap without incident until sunset at around 5pm. Max Biaggi set the fastest time of the day, stopping the clock at 1'32.88 after 88 laps. Biaggi dedicated the day to a new gearbox, fork and slight engine tuning and was happy with the results.

"We tested the engine used by the works team during last season," explained Biaggi. "I have to say that the bike now is very good, I feel at ease and I have a lot of fun in riding. Tomorrow we'll end the test trying some new 16.5 inch front tyres Michelin brought here for the first time. Knowing them and their professionalism I'm sure they will be the tyres of the future."

The new rubber was the subject of intense examination further down the pit-lane, with a strong backing from Colin Edwards, who has been a long advocate of the 16.5 variety since his days in the World Superbike Championship.

"I've been testing these tyres since 2000 and for me there is no doubt that they give a better feeling," said the American, who was sixth fastest in a time of 1'34.00. "The contact patch is much better – you get more warning from the bike about what it is going to do – and I'm sure the rest of the guys here will go for these tyres next season."

On his adaptation to the Honda RC211V, which he tested for the first time at Catalunya last month, Edwards added: "After more time on the bike I can definitely feel the areas in which it can be improved. For instance throughout the season the Ducati seemed to have the edge down the straight. Obviously I stick by my opinion that it is a great bike, but like anything it can always be made even better."

Loris Capirossi, who completed a total of 50 laps with a best time of 1'33.52 on board the Ducati Desmosedici, seemed to agree. "I like the way the bike handles with the 16.5 front, especially under braking and at maximum lean at centre curve" commented the Italian, who rode the 2003 version of the bike with added parts whilst test rider Vittoriano Guareschi piloted the 2004 ‘laboratory' prototype. "I am really pleased with the way things are going, these three days are very busy but they are really important for the development of the bike," concluded Capirossi.

Makoto Tamada was second fastest using Bridgestone tyres, whilst Nobuatsu Aoki and Kurtis Roberts are provisionally running Dunlops on the Proton KR V5.

Unofficial lap times

1.- Max Biaggi, Honda – 1'32.88 (88 laps)
2.- Makoto Tamada, Honda – 1'33.40 (50 laps)
3.- Sete Gibernau, Honda – 1'33.50 (82 laps)
4.- Loris Capirossi, Ducati – 1'33.52 (50 laps)
5.- Troy Bayliss, Ducati – 1'33.58 (62 laps)
6.- Colin Edwards, Honda – 1'34.00 (71 laps)
7.- Shinichi Itoh, Honda – 1'35.10 (78 laps)
8.- Rubén Xaus, Ducati – 1'35.53 (63 laps)
9.- Neil Hodgson, Ducati – 1'35.86 (78 laps)
10.- Shane Byrne, Aprilia – 1'35.97 (64 laps)
11.- Nobuatsu Aoki, Proton – 1'36.50 (49 laps)
12.- Marcelino Lucchi, Aprilia – 1'36.40 (61 laps)
13.- Kurtis Roberts, Proton – 1'36.75 (29 laps)

MotoGP, 2003

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