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Capirossi completes dominance of Sepang test

Capirossi completes dominance of Sepang test

Capirossi completes dominance of Sepang test

Loris Capirossi completed his dominance of the first MotoGP test of the 2005 preseason with the quickest time on the third and final day at Sepang. The Ducati rider's time of 2'00.54 was over a second inside Valentino Rossi's pole from the Grand Prix here last October and some eighth tenths quicker than his nearest challenger today.

"These were three positive days, especially because we were able to get down to some real testing," declared Capirossi, who again lapped alone out of the Ducati Marlboro garage as his team-mate Carlos Checa was absent for a second day through illness.

"We worked methodically on the suspension settings and tyres and managed to find the right balance. I'm very satisfied with the latest technical innovations: the chassis, the swing-arm and the ECU have all made improvements to the Desmosedici.

"With Bridgestone tyre development is continuing non-stop and in the next test session at Sepang we will be concentrating on the rear tyre to further improve duration over a race distance, which is already quite good.

"In any case, irrespective of the times we set, we have to continue along this path without getting all carried away. But I have to admit that it's great to be competitive!"

Sete Gibernau came closest to Capirossi today after consolidating the progress he made yesterday with his final outing on the 2004 version Honda RC211V. HRC technicians will now take the data gathered by all seven riders present at Sepang back to Japan and plan to wheel out their 2005 version prototypes on their return to Malaysia in February.

Alex Barros' contribution to that information was limited today after the Brazilian's test was cut short by a bizarre injury. Barros completed two runs of five laps in the morning with an impressive time of 2'01.90 before returning to his pit garage and standing next to an ice cold fan in an attempt to cool down. However, the sudden change in temperature caused his neck to seize up and, despite intense massaging and painkillers, he was unable to return to action.

Toni Elías also leaves Malaysia with a minor injury after a visit to the Subang hospital last night confirmed that he had fractured his finger, as well as dislocating it, in a crash on Sunday. However, the Spanish youngster fought through the pain barrier to complete 51 laps today and left with an impressive time of 2'02.8, just 1.5 seconds slower than factory rider and World Champion Valentino Rossi, despite never having ridden the Yamaha M1 at this circuit before.

Elías' team-mate Ruben Xaus will also be facing a degree of discomfort on the journey home tomorrow night, having suffered a series of blisters caused by his body rubbing against the M1, which the Fortuna Yamaha team have yet to adjust to his considerable frame.

Unofficial lap times:

Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 2'00.54
Sete Gibernau (Honda): 2'01.325 (61)
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha): 2'01.36 (45)
Nicky Hayden (Honda): 2'01.68 (99)
Alex Barros (Honda): 2'01.90 (10)
Max Biaggi (Honda): 2'01.91 (83)
Colin Edwards (Yamaha): 2'01.93 (43)
Marco Melandri (Honda): 2'02.1 (66)
Troy Bayliss (Honda): 2'02.69 (67)
Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki): 2'02.7 (34)
Toni Elías (Yamaha); 2'02.80 (51)
Makoto Tamada (Honda): 2'02.8 (73)
Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki): 2'03.7 (48)
Rubén Xaus (Yamaha): 2'04.00 (52)

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005

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