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MotoGP teams stay on at Le Mans

MotoGP teams stay on at Le Mans

MotoGP teams stay on at Le Mans

A host of MotoGP riders returned to the track at Le Mans on Monday as they began preparations in earnest for the next round of the season at Mugello in three weeks' time. Factory riders from Honda, Ducati and Yamaha were all present at the test, enjoying conditions similar to those that can be expected at the Italian circuit at the start of June, with ambient temperatures of 29ºC and track temperatures touching 48ºC.

Whilst MotoGP World Championship leader Sete Gibernau and his Telefonica Movistar Honda team-mate Colin Edwards headed south to Michelin's Clermont Ferrand circuit to complete tests with the French tyre manufacturer, Max Biaggi, Makoto Tamada, Valentino Rossi, Carlos Checa, Nicky Hayden, Alex Barros and Troy Bayliss were amongst those to stay on at the Bugatti circuit for an intense day of work on the back of a gruelling weekend at the Grand Prix Polini de France.

Whilst Rossi continued to work on the base set-up problems he suffered throughout the weekend with his Yamaha M1, rival Biaggi worked on endurance tyre tests and front suspension settings, designed to make his Honda RC211V more stable and consistent in different conditions and improve rear traction.

Biaggi's Camel Honda team-mate Tamada spent the whole day working with Bridgestone's Japanese technicians, running up 76 laps on varying compounds as he tried to narrow his choice of race rubber for Mugello.

As expected, Ducati riders Capirossi and Bayliss completed back-to-back tests on the 2003 and 2004 versions of the Desmosedici machines. Team director Livio Suppo explained that they had no current plans to return to the old machine, adding that they simply hoped to benefit from directly comparing the two versions and incorporating some of the more positive aspects of the GP3 machine into the new prototype.

"Today we picked up some positive indications of the real potential of the Desmosedici GP4," explained Suppo. "Both riders and engineers are extremely satisfied with the work done and with the modifications made to the GP4. This is a demonstration that the GP4 project is a sound one, has a lot of potential and only requires the necessary development to bring results."

MotoGP, 2004

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