Donington test ends with small crashes for Rossi and Hayden

Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Donington test ends with small crashes for Rossi and Hayden

The Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha team and Repsol Honda boys Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros along with Telefonica Honda representative Sete Gibernau completed their post British Grand Prix testing work at Donington yesterday. The quintet rode under temperate and cloudy conditions with the odd shower coating the midlands circuit. Rossi was fastest on the unofficial time sheet with title rival Gibernau second.

Rossi worked with a new front fork setting and chassis set-up, as well as altered engine mapping to ensure smoother engine delivery. He completed several laps in the morning on his M1 machine, with a fastest time of 1'29.82s, just over one second slower than his pole position record from Saturday of 1'28.72s. The 25-year-old finished testing earlier than planned after a small fall in the early afternoon.

"That was a really strange fall, the track was mostly dry but it was starting to rain and there were a few wet patches," explained Rossi. "My front tyre hit a wet patch and I did a kind of wheelie, the bike just went upright. It was coming out of the Melbourne loop, before Goddards. Anyway I was fine and was able to ride the bike back to the pits."

"It has been a useful test, we have found some good information. The new front fork setting improves braking stability, and the new engine mapping is making the bike easier to ride in general. I finished early anyway today because I only had some Michelin tyres to test but the track conditions were not suitable at that time. We had done most of what we set out to achieve today. I will now go on holiday with some friends for a good rest."

Carlos Checa also had positive comments on his day's work, having tested longer than his team-mate Rossi.

"We worked on some different settings and tested new engine mapping, as well as tyres for Michelin," said Checa, who finished sixth in Sunday's race. "I'm going on holidays with a good feeling about the bike, and will look forward to coming back to race in a few weeks. I don't think the Yamaha engineers are going to have much of a rest!"

Nicky Hayden, who scored fourth place on Sunday, took a tumble at Mcleans corner during the afternoon but was OK.

The MotoGP paddock takes a three week break before the season recommences at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno on 22 August.

UNOFFICIAL LAP TIMES: 1. VALENTINO ROSSI 1'29.82
2. SETE GIBERNAU 1'29.94
3. CARLOS CHECA 1'30.08
4. ALEX BARROS 1'30.08
5. NICKY HAYDEN 1'31.00

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