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Curtain draws on 2004 at Valencia test

Curtain draws on 2004 at Valencia test

Curtain draws on 2004 at Valencia test

MotoGP engines roared for the final time in 2004 today at two separate tests in France and Spain. Whilst Kawasaki riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann completed a wet tyre test for Bridgestone at Paul Ricard, Alex Barros took advantage of his last chance this year to test the RC211V on the second and final day of a Honda and Ducati session at Valencia.

After rain had spoilt proceedings on Monday, today began with bright sunshine and several riders took to the track at around 10am. Barros, who rejoined the Camel Honda team run by Sito Pons two seasons after leaving for Yamaha, took his bow at around 12pm and was the fastest Honda rider on a day which saw the Ducati partnership of Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa again set the pace.

Capirossi's unofficial lap time of 1'32.67 is inside Makoto Tamada's pole position time from the final round of the 2004 season, the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, at the Cheste circuit one month ago and is just two tenths outside Valentino Rossi's pole record from 2003. Tamada crashed out today as did Troy Bayliss, the fastest rider on the wet first day, and Régis Laconi, who continued in his role as a test rider for Ducati.

"These tests have been very positive and the results are far superior to what we achieved here at the final race of the season," said Capirossi. "The Bridgestone tyres have worked quite well even though we don't have the evolution tyres for our bike until the first test of next year.

"Development of the GP5 is going very well and I think we are on the right tracks to keep getting better."

Unofficial lap times provided by the teams:

Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 1'32.67
Carlos Checa (Ducati): 1'33.09
Alex Barros (Honda):1'33.18
Sete Gibernau (Honda):1'33.43
Marco Melandri (Honda):1'33.47
Nicky Hayden (Honda):1'33.52
Makoto Tamada (Honda):1'33.85
Troy Bayliss (Honda):1'34.59
Régis Laconi (Ducati): 1'35.79
Tohru Ukawa (Honda): 1'37.05

MotoGP, 2004

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