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Biaggi returns to HRC duty at Valencia

Biaggi returns to HRC duty at Valencia

Biaggi returns to HRC duty at Valencia

Max Biaggi enjoyed his first day back at the office as a factory Honda rider today, sharing a garage with Nicky Hayden in what looks sure to be the HRC team line-up for 2005 at Valencia.

Whilst no official statement has been made over Biaggi's role by HRC, the Italian today rode countless laps on the latest version RC211V, testing an evolution chassis and the 2004 exhaust system introduced by the Japanese factory with limited success earlier this season.

"It has been a day of intense work," commented Biaggi. "We are basically working from a blank piece of paper and my job now is to give as much feedback as I possibly can to Honda. It's a tough job but I am already enjoying it.

"Today I only did 34 laps as we tried out several chassis changes. I could have been faster but the main purpose was to find the right direction we need to make progress in time for the next tests. We will continue on this line tomorrow."

Sete Gibernau also tested the newer exhaust, having himself rejected it after initial tests at Brno in August. In addition, the Spaniard worked on a series of tyre tests, which confirmed his mistaken rear choice for the race on Sunday, and will tomorrow run some laps with the evolution chassis.

"The idea of this test is to compare information, have a look at the material which we are interested in and rule out anything we don't want so that we are ready to start preparations for the new season in good shape," explained Gibernau.

"It is what we did last preseason and it worked perfectly well in the first part of the year, when we were very consistent. Today we tried the exhaust system that they gave us back at Brno and I still think that it makes the bike easier to ride, that the power delivery is more progressive, but it is not necessarily any quicker.

"Tomorrow we'll get the chance to try the new chassis which Honda have brought. I'm really pleased to be testing because a new season started for me today, a new challenge and, as I have already said this year, I want to have complete control over my bike.

"For this reason we have to be very clear about what we want and make sure we transmit that to Honda."

Also on track were new Ducati team-mates Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa, as well as Italian factory tester Vittoriano Guareschi. Capirossi switched between the Desmosedici GP4 in two different chassis and rear swing-arm configurations, which he had already successfully tested after the Phillip Island round, and reported positive results.

Whilst Checa continued his adaptation to the machine and completed a total of 88 laps, Guareschi was out on the track with an evolution version of the Desmosedici, on which several components - the exhausts, the lower fairing and the tail-unit - were being track-tested for the first time. MotoGP testing continues at Valencia on Thursday.

Unofficial lap times:

1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1'33.45
2. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1'33.46
3. Sete Gibernau (Honda) 1'33.52
4. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1'33.9
5. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'33.9
6. Max Biaggi (Honda) 1'34.3
7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1'34.56
8. Toni Elias (Yamaha) 1'35.48
9. Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati) 1'36.5

MotoGP, 2004

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