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Gibernau stakes his claim for factory support

Gibernau stakes his claim for factory support

Gibernau stakes his claim for factory support

Sete Gibernau reacted to the news that HRC plan to focus mainly on Max Biaggi this season by posting the second fastest time of the first preseason test at Sepang and blaming his poor result in the Grand Prix there last year on the ‘confusion' at Honda at the time.

Gibernau has finished runner-up in the MotoGP World Championship to Valentino Rossi for the past two seasons and is hopeful the Japanese factory will respond to his feedback in Malaysia with a 2005-spec RC211V tailored to his needs.

"The overall impression from these tests is very positive," said Gibernau, who completed 57 laps with a best time of 2'01.2. "I think we've taken steps forward by successfully evaluating the material HRC has made available to me.

"Honda needed to compare data with rider feedback and that's what we did. Today I lapped consistently in 2'02" and did the odd spell in 2'01", all on race tyres.

"We've also learned why the race went so badly for me here in the Grand Prix; as we thought, it was a result of the general confusion that there was at Honda throughout the season. We'll have the new bike for the next session and we'll start to work towards next season.

"One of my objectives before coming here was to make the team stronger and improve the links between ourselves, Michelin and HRC and I think we have achieved that also."

Gibernau's new team-mate at Telefonica Movistar Honda, Marco Melandri, also signed off from the test in positive mood after recording an excellent time of 2'02.19 after 66 laps.

"I'm going home feeling very satisfied," said Melandri. "We worked really well this afternoon and it's a good way to finish. Up until yesterday, with the heat, we had a few problems and finally we've found a set-up that gives me more confidence. I'm starting to like this track.

"At the end, on race tyres, I wasn't too far behind Sete although to be honest I'm not bothered about lap times at the moment. Everybody goes quickly in winter but if you lapped consistently in 2'03" here during the race you'd win.

"I've got a lot still to do in terms of getting to know the bike, especially in terms of riding it when not everything is in place, but I'm happy with our progress."

MotoGP, 2005

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