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Honda and Proton wrap up Jerez test

Honda and Proton wrap up Jerez test

Honda and Proton wrap up Jerez test

MotoGP testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain concluded on Friday, with Honda and Proton Team KR wrapping up an intense week of development work. Whilst Kawasaki, Aprilia and Ducati shut their garage doors yesterday, Sete Gibernau today led the HRC contingency with Kurtis Roberts finally completing several laps aboard the Proton – KTM hybrid machine ridden earlier in the week by Jeremy McWilliams.

Whilst Gibernau set the fastest time with a lap of 1'40.679, the most impressive performance of the day came from Troy Bayliss, who ended his first official session on the RC211V less than a tenth of a second off the pace off the Spaniard.

Although Bayliss is still unable to comment due to contractual reasons, Gibernau revealed his satisfaction at the tests and underlined the importance of the track time gathered at this stage of the year.

"We followed our testing programme just as we had planned," commented the Spaniard, who won the Grand Prix at this circuit back in May. "We've done all sorts of tests with the material at our disposal with the target of finding the best possible balance and a base from which we can work in January.

"I am satisfied with the work we are doing with Honda and Michelin. It's a tough job having to test so many things but at the same time it's necessary to get on the right lines of work as soon as possible."

After a marathon stint of laps yesterday, Gibernau's team-mate Melandri enjoyed a comparatively relaxing day today, completing 56 circulations with a best time of 1' 42.240.

"Having done 101 laps yesterday I went out on the track a little later today," said the former 250cc World Champion. "I am happy because every day that goes by I feel more comfortable with the bike.

"Today I managed to set a consistent pace, although I'm still not getting the most out of the new tyres and feel more comfortable when they are scrubbed in. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, especially to define the set-up, so I am looking forward to carrying on at Valencia."

Melandri and the rest of the HRC squad, including Alex Barros, who missed the Jerez sessions with a shoulder problem, will be joined at Valencia by Ducati Marlboro next Monday and Tuesday.

Unofficial lap times:

1. Sete Gibernau (Esp/Honda) 1'40"679

2. Troy Bayliss (Aus/Honda) 1'40"739

3. Makoto Tamada (Jap/Honda) 1'41"528

4. Nicky Hayden (USA/Honda) 1'41"541

5. Marco Melandri (Ita/Honda) 1'42"240

6. Tohru Ukawa (Jap/Honda) 1'45"199

7. Kurtis Roberts (USA/Proton) 1'52"097

MotoGP, 2004

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