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Testing continues in Sepang

Testing continues in Sepang

Testing continues in Sepang

Compared to the scorching 43ºC experienced in Malaysia during the Grand Prix here back in October, there has been a relatively cool average temperature of 33º and much lower humidity in Sepang this week.

The four riders testing have put the more comfortable conditions to good use, getting through a solid number of laps as they continue to take the first steps towards next season's competition.

It is currently rainy season in Malaysia, but so far these test days have been unaffected by the commonplace afternoon downpours. There were spots of rain towards midday, but it never picked up into anything more than light drizzle, and the dark thunder clouds which have loomed overhead all day never sparked into life.

Valentino Rossi continued his work on the 2005 M1 prototype, going out in relatively short stints as the basic decisions are made about which direction the bike will go in. He interchanged work on the new machine with rides aboard his championship-winning bike, comparing and contrasting their performances head-to-head.

Colin Edwards also continued to accustom himself to the Yamaha's style on the 2004 machine, though early signs are that he is finding the bike to his liking, with lap-times already within those he managed with the Honda during the race weekend here in October and quicker than Rossi today. Edwards also completed a handful of laps on the 2005 version.

Just a few garages down the pit-lane, Suzuki factory tester Kousuke Akiyoshi continued to develop the 2005 GSV-R in the absence of their main two riders Kenny Roberts Jr. and John Hopkins, whilst Nobuatsu Aoki had his second day familiarising himself with the Suzuki on Bridgestone tyres.

Aoki admits that it was a hard decision to move from Proton Team KR, "I just felt that I needed to change, and I wanted to get back to using these Bridgestone tyres," he said. "I got the chance with Suzuki, and it will also mean I will get some wildcard rides and will be the team's replacement rider.

"At the moment I'm just picking up speed on the bike, it's getting there. I am just focusing on riding the 2004 machine really, before getting into any serious development work."

The Sepang test concludes tomorrow for both Yamaha and Suzuki factory teams.

Unofficial lap times released by Yamaha:

Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 2'02.41 (56 laps)
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2'02.44 (51 laps)

Kousuke Akiyoshi (Suzuki) 2'03.80
Nobuatsu Aoki (Suzuki) 2'05.02

MotoGP, 2004

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