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Reaction from the second day in Malaysia

Reaction from the second day in Malaysia

Reaction from the second day in Malaysia

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha): "Today we worked 100% on the new engine spec and in the end we achieved a similar lap time to yesterday. I'm quite happy because we are working with a totally new prototype. There are some teething problems which we need to fix but for sure this engine has more potential than the other one we've been using. I am certain that this is the right way to continue, although we still need a bit more power. However I think it is better to go a bit more slowly at this point with the new engine and achieve better results in the long run. I am confident that we can continue improving tomorrow."

Carlos Checa (Yamaha): "I feel fine with this chassis today and managed to find some good lap times. We finally got the kind of results we have been looking for. We worked with various tyres but eventually stuck with the one we used here at the last Sepang test. I improved my average lap time and did a few .03s - this is the most important thing. Obviously there are still areas we need to work on but we are making developments each time we test."

Marco Melandri (Yamaha): "I am happy with my shoulder recovery so far this week. The problem is that I feel a little bit deluded because we have now tested for five days (including the last Sepang test) and we are still struggling to find a set-up which I feel completely comfortable with. Sepang is not one of my favourite circuits but I thought that I would improve more here. We have got a lot of work to do to solve our problems."

Norick Abe (Yamaha): "In general I felt a bit better today and was 1.5s faster than yesterday, which is good. Yesterday we worked on the rear and today we worked on the front so the balance is much better. My target for tomorrow is 2.03. I know that testing is very important but for me, three days is a long time. I always prefer racing!"

Troy Bayliss (Ducati): "We worked hard today, concentrating exclusively on the 16.5" front. Yesterday we had a bit of difficulty getting the right feeling with the new front, but things are a lot better today, as you can see by my time. We've still got a lot of work to get through, in particular on getting the best set-up for this circuit. I reckon that we still need to make a few small changes to help me feel confident with the front, but we're almost there."

Loris Capirossi (Ducati): "I still haven't been able to find the right feeling with the 16.5" front. I didn't push for a quick time, I just concentrated on tyre work. I am increasingly convinced that the new bike has improved a lot over last year's Desmosedici, but I'm not entirely satisfied with it yet. We are in an important development stage and we have to find the right configuration to benefit from the new solutions and make progress before the start of the season."

Max Biaggi (Honda): "The second day is always a little harder, especially after the first day's exertions. We changed some suspension settings today to see how they affected the bike, and maybe we lost a little time. Nevertheless, when you are working hard you always get better though. We worked a lot on race simulations and the bike's configurations for these. So the results today were that we are getting the rewards for our hard work. Looking at the other riders and their times too I feel we're going into an era where there'll be a lot of surprises and a lot of things happening. It's good."

Colin Edwards (Honda): "I've been working, training, and doing some motocrossing, but whenever you come back to the bike after two or three weeks off you get sore muscles all over. This morning I knew I'd ridden hard yesterday, but I felt good though. I'm just still plugging away and testing though. I had a plan to use the 17-inch front tyre and tell everyone how good it was and then use the 16.5 inch to my advantage, but that doesn't seem to have worked! But seriously, the work we're doing with the 16.5 is good now, I know it's a good tyre because I helped develop it, and Michelin have brought new stuff here which is 90% new to me as well as the other riders. I know maybe a little how to make the difference or where the limits are a little more though, I know the warning signs better."

Sete Gibernau (Honda): "I still think that we can work on the clutch and the engine braking on the RC211V, but at the moment we don't have anything new to test on the bike so we are focusing on tyres. I think races will be won in the mid- to three-quarter stage of a race, and that's where I'm looking at. I'm happy, because we are consistent, and the things Michelin have brought to the table are good. We'll continue working tomorrow on this, and hoping that soon we'll have more things to try from Honda."

Nicky Hayden (Honda): "I felt like I was riding a lot better today - especially in the morning. Yesterday we tried a lot of things to get a good base setting. We tried a lot of front Michelins and that really helped with my confidence in the front end which is important for me. Immediately we got down to some pretty good lap times and what was good was that they were pretty consistently fast. After a big step this morning I kinda' got in a rut after lunch and wasn't making as much progress, as I'd have liked. The new swing arm is taking a lil' getting' used to - gives a little more grip and we tried some new shocks today that helped a little under braking. We've got some things to work on tomorrow but we're definitely going in the right direction. Much better today than yesterday".

Makoto Tamada (Honda): "I'm not so happy. I'm happy now, but I want to make another step forward. I can't really be happy because I'm not too fast when compared to the other riders, they have a better fast lap. Anyway, my problem at the moment is consistency, and mainly in the tyres. They are just small problems though, and maybe with incidents like that I had in Sepang last time, and that of Kenny Roberts today, then I think we will begin to see Bridgestone move forward, it's a possible big step for them."

Alex Barros (Honda): "I feel pretty sore today which is not surprising as yesterday was the first time I had ridden in three months. The shoulder is feeling OK and I have to keep putting ice on the keep it calm. It's definitely feeling a lot better every day. I'm tired now but have a lot more confidence in the bike than yesterday. I need to keep running - my feeling for the machine has improved in a day. Sometimes I think I'm pushing hard - it'll come naturally. I need more time to understand the machine - more experience of the bike. We spent most of the day riding one bike and making adjustments to it – different links, changing suspension units, the mapping and 16.5-inch tyre. I've improved my lap time from this morning and am quite happy really."

Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki): "Today was incredibly hot, making it really hard out on the track, but I'm happy to have made some good progress and ended the day a second faster than yesterday. I'm pleased with the fact that I managed to find a good rhythm today, which meant I was lapping consistently in the 2'04s bracket. We're definitely moving in the right direction with the engine, with the latest modifications making it feel both sharper and faster; it will be interesting to see Shinya's reaction when he tests it for the first time tomorrow. One of the swing arm options we tried today improved traction under acceleration; an area in which any improvement is more than welcome. My tyre runs were mainly to back up data from the previous test here, although the new profile front felt good. Overall, while I'm happy with how things are going, there is still a lot of work to do if we are to find our optimum set up."

Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki): "We had everything under control today and we managed to get through our full test schedule, including trying out some new profile front tyres that showed good potential. My target is to go faster still on the final day of the test, with the aim being to dip into the 2'03s bracket tomorrow. On my final run the revised engine mapping made it easier for me to control rear end slides and wheelies; we've been missing some bottom end power. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to testing the latest engine specification and learning more about the characteristics of the Ninja ZX-RR."

Harald Eckl (Kawasaki Team Manager): "Considering the difficult conditions we've been working under I'm reasonably satisfied with the results today, especially Alex's lap times with the latest engine. Both Alex and Shinya have matched their lap times from the January test and, with a few more things to try on the final day of the test tomorrow, I think the potential to go even faster is definitely there. Tomorrow Shinya will run the latest engine, to back up the data we got from Alex today, and this will be important as we continue our development programme."

Neil Hodgson (Ducati): "I think we have made good progress from yesterday. Obviously I would have liked to have spent more time on the bike but we shouldn't forget that this is the first test of the preseason and despite the expectation raised by having 25 riders on the same track the championship doesn't start until April. I am gradually picking up my rhythm and getting used to everything. The times are important but the priority is to keep working and solving any problems that crop up."

Rubén Xaus (Ducati): "The lap time is good especially considering that I haven't been able to complete thirty laps today or yesterday. The most important thing, though, is that I feel strong and maybe that is why the times are coming. Hopefully I can squeeze the most out of tomorrow's session but we're just preparing for when the real ‘war' starts."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003

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