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Weather brightens at Jerez for team tests

Weather brightens at Jerez for team tests

Weather brightens at Jerez for team tests

The heavy black clouds which had hung over the Jerez circuit throughout the Gran Premio Marlboro de España over the weekend finally dispersed on Monday to allow a host of MotoGP teams almost a full day of testing despite damp patches on the track surface. Factory riders from Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda were amongst those to complete vital set-up work which they had been unable to carry out during the Grand Prix itself due to the adverse weather conditions.

Race winner Sete Gibernau took the day off, planning instead to test on Tuesday and Wednesday, but his Telefonica Movistar Honda team-mate Colin Edwards did ride, reporting improvements with his RC211V machine. "I'm happy with today's work," commented Edwards, who finished seventh in the MotoGP race yesterday. "We made some progress with the bike setting. We went out for almost forty laps this afternoon trying to find a good feeling."

Ducati reported progress as they gathered important data on tyres, suspension and engine components with the 2004 version of the Demosedici, Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi taking to the track at 2pm and lapping virtually non-stop for four hours with a total of 48 and 30 laps respectively. Bayliss worked mainly on rear suspension set-up and engine management while Capirossi focussed on the Michelin 16.5" front tyre, which he had not used since pre-season testing.

"We are quite satisfied with this afternoon's testing and in particular with the improvement made by Troy, who on race tyres and without pushing really hard recorded quicker times than over the weekend," commented Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "We preferred to let Loris focus on getting used to the 16.5" front tyre. This evening we will analyse all the information accumulated and let's hope that tomorrow's weather will be as good as it has been today because we've got a lot of work to get through."

Kawasaki also had positive news as Shinya Nakano started out evaluating revised clutch components before switching to tyre testing as the track dried out. Alex Hofmann concentrated on revised engine components designed to increase torque from the 990cc Ninja ZX-RR motor.

"I had some trouble getting the bike off the line in South Africa, so today we tested some new clutch components in a bid to improve both reliability and feel and I'm happy to say that these changes have made a significant difference," commented Nakano.

"We also tested four new rear tyres from Bridgestone and collected a lot of data for their development programme. Tomorrow, if the weather stays kind to us, we will concentrate on evaluating the recent revisions made to the chassis."

MotoGP, 2004

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