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MotoGP testing resumes at Sepang

MotoGP testing resumes at Sepang

MotoGP testing resumes at Sepang

Most of the MotoGP teams will be back in Malaysia this week to continue their pre-season testing schedule. Since late January and Loris Capirossi astounding performance on the new Ducati Desmosedici GP5 in the first testing session of the year, the other teams were able to work on their 2005-spec bikes and several novelties should be tested this week.

On Friday, the new Honda RC211V will hit the track for the first time, as HRC used the data gathered during the previous test to finalize its new contender. 2005 will be a crucial season for Honda, as their new leader Max Biaggi and also two-time runner-up Sete Gibernau will be willing to oust Valentino Rossi from the MotoGP throne.

The reigning MotoGP Champion already had the opportunity to discover his new Yamaha during the first test session. Since then, he talked about the potential of the new YZR-M1 and the progress made by the competition at Bormio, in Italy, where was held the presentation of the Gauloises Yamaha team.

"The bike last year was good, but we came to the limit with its development and now Yamaha has made us a bike that is almost completely new," said Rossi. "It's already fast but of course there is more work to do on it. I think this will be a very exciting Championship; it's clear Ducati have made some improvements and of course Biaggi and Gibernau will be competitive, so there is a big challenge for us!"

Back in January, Loris Capirossi was an unexpected pacesetter with the new Bridgestone-shod Ducati Demosedici GP5. The italian topped the timesheets with a record breaking lap time of 2 minutes 0.54 seconds to beat the circuit's official pole record by 1.3secs. His team mate Carlos Checa wasn't able to confirm the promises shown by the Ducati-Bridgestone partnership due to sickness, but he's now ready for this week test.

This second testing session at Sepang will also be Roberto Rolfo's MotoGP debut with the d'Antin Ducati team. This year, the Italian will ride a Dunlop-shod Demosedici GP4 and will be the only rider of the Spanish outfit.

Team Suzuki's John Hopkins and Kenny Roberts Jr will be the first riders on track, starting their testing programme on Wednesday. They will be joined by Ducati the next day, while the Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki teams will only start testing on Friday.

MotoGP, 2005

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