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Quotes from the Honda and Kawasaki camps after the first day at Sepang

Quotes from the Honda and Kawasaki camps after the first day at Sepang

Quotes from the Honda and Kawasaki camps after the first day at Sepang

Max Biaggi (Honda): "I had a good month's rest, which we need to recharge the batteries for this pan-continental test. I like the conditions here in Malaysia, hot and humid, when you haven't got too many things to test, it's certainly good physical preparation. We are working on a single bike here, waiting for the new machines, and we are testing mainly suspension and tyres. It's good, because it will make a good comparison when the 2004 bike arrives and we test it here next month."

Sete Gibernau (Honda): "I've trained well so it wasn't really a problem riding today in the heat, although obviously you have to settle into things first. My morale is so high at the moment, and it's helped today by the fact that we have already made improvements on the race record time. We worked mainly on tyres today, and with Michelin's 17" front. For the rest of the test we'll probably move on to suspension and other such things, but I'm happy with our work today."

Makoto Tamada (Honda): "We didn't really work on tyres today as I expected, and concentrated more on the machine set-up as a whole, which showed some good results. The conditions are difficult here, but today as a whole was good, I've done my training well, so it was no problem for me at all. The rest of this test we will dedicate now to the tyres above all."

Colin Edwards (Honda): "We were working a bit on the set-up, which isn't too different from that of Valencia to be honest, and also playing with a few different rims, working with Michelin. We've tried a lot of that before so not much new there. As for my adaptation to the new bike in these conditions, after having been in the mountains and with thin air for a month I thought I might come here a hero, but it's still too hot! As regards my adaptation, Hondas have a certain character, and whether it's Superbike or MotoGP, it's got those similar characteristics, so it's never a problem for me, just getting back into the swing."

Nicky Hayden (Honda): "That was great to get back on the bike and open the throttle after what has felt like quite a time. It's good to see all the team again – exactly the same as last year so it feels real comfortable. We had a little difficulty at the start of the session but quickly resolved it and started to have fun. I had hoped to carry on more but the rain came so we packed up mid-afternoon. We've still got two days here, which is good. My hand has held up well today -it feels a little weak but that's not surprising. A pretty good and enjoyable first day back."

Tohru Ukawa (Honda): "So this is the first time for me as a test rider, which is a strange situation. I'm happy with the direction that the development bike is going, with the new engine, frame and suspension spec all looking good to me. However I wasn't happy with my lap time. The bike feels comfortable and everything, and physically I am okay, I think that just as test rider it will take time to get used to. There are still two days though, so by the last day I hope to have set a good time."

Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki): "I was very excited about riding the Ninja ZX-RR for the first time today and, after just this short test session, my first impression of the Kawasaki is that it is a very compact, but very powerful machine. Now we need to work at finding a good chassis balance, as well as setting the bike up to be more stable on the brakes, but this is to be expected with a completely new chassis. We'll also be making a few changes to the gearbox tonight, ready to start testing again tomorrow morning. Overall, I'm very happy with how things have gone today."

Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki): "I started with the old bike today, as we had a couple of modifications we wanted to evaluate before switching to the new bike tomorrow, but I still managed to go quicker than my previous best lap time at this circuit. The consistency of the Bridgestone tyres is impressive; I did my fastest time today on a set of tyres with almost 20 laps on them. Now I can't wait to try them on the new bike tomorrow."

MotoGP, 2003, Kawasaki Racing Team

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