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Riders reflect positively on HRC tests

Riders reflect positively on HRC tests

Riders reflect positively on HRC tests

Nicky Hayden, Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau were the three riders entrusted with early preseason testing duties for HRC at Valencia this week, in a clear sign of the Japanese racing department's tactics to wrestle the MotoGP World Championship title back from Valentino Rossi and Yamaha in 2005.

Hayden posted the fastest time on the final day of the two-day session, the former AMA Superbike Champion reporting progress over the two days before heading back to his home in Kentucky, USA. Hayden will now undergo treatment and, probably, an operation on a troublesome knee injury sustained earlier this season before returning to Spain later this month for further HRC tests with the RC211V.

"It was a pretty good three days all round," reflected Hayden at the end of the test on Thursday. "I got 90 laps in yesterday and around 40 today with a best time of 1'33.18 before we stopped when slight rain fell and we all called it a day. We managed to click off a whole bunch of mid 1m 33's, which we were pretty happy with.

"We had a load of Michelins we were testing today - didn't get through them all but made some pretty good progress anyway. I'm looking forward to a little break now before we're all back in Spain towards the end of November testing again.

"I'm going to try and get a little bit of medical advice on my knee that hasn't been 100% ever since the accident in August."

Max Biaggi was busy all Thursday morning testing alternative chassis settings and new clutch parts for his RCV. The Italian was in and out of the pits several times but, despite the stop - start nature of his day, managed to better his fastest lap from last Sunday's race.

"We tested changes to chassis and some clutch parts today and made some progress but we stopped after the rain came at two o'clock," said Biaggi. "We only put in 30 or so laps but the work we did was important for us to be ready for the test at Jerez later this month."

Like Biaggi, Gibernau was forced to call it a day after lunch. Before he stopped the Spaniard managed to assess the performance of new clutch parts and alternative exhaust systems. The planned tyre test session for Gibernau with new Michelin tyres was abandoned the due to the rain.

"The rain had a big effect on our plans for today," admitted Gibernau. "We managed to test some new clutch parts and different types of exhaust pipes and hoped to test tyres for Michelin in the afternoon. However, the rain came just after lunchtime and we had to abandon the test."

MotoGP, 2004

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