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Biaggi continues Honda dominance as Rossi sits it out

Biaggi continues Honda dominance as Rossi sits it out

Biaggi continues Honda dominance as Rossi sits it out

Max Biaggi recovered from two crashes on Friday to set the fastest time on the second day of MotoGP tests at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia on Saturday.

Biaggi led another dominant display from the factory Honda line-up in the absence of Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, who has been diagnosed with a throat virus, and Ducati rider Loris Capirossi, who left the circuit after just ten laps complaining of a fever.

With high temperatures and humidity compounded by a short spell of rain, track conditions were again not ideal but Biaggi's time of 2'01.501 was inside Rossi's pole time from the 2004 Grand Prix and was enough to hold off the attentions of yesterday's pacesetter Sete Gibernau.

"The fast lap time didn't really matter yesterday and it doesn't matter too much today but it's still good to record the fastest lap of the day – for everyone in the team, from the last technician to the first engineer," said Biaggi.

"But we are still at the beginning of a long path and we still have a lot of new parts to try so the hard work will continue tomorrow. I didn't even try new tyres today - the track is very slippy because of the high temperature and humidity but tomorrow we will try the new tyres from Michelin."

Carlos Checa was the fastest non-Honda today, lapping sixth fastest on the Ducati behind Makoto Tamada, who was also suffering from a bout of flu but managed to put in 74 laps as he continues to adapt to Michelin tyres after switching from Bridgestone.

Adding to the injury list, Ruben Xaus also sat out today's test suffering from the same injuries that forced him to finish early on Friday. The Spanish Yamaha rider is still struggling with severe discomfort from the burns and blisters sustained in the last test but is hopeful of completing some laps on Sunday, the final day of the session.

Meanwhile, Shinya Nakano got his first taste of the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR machine, which was wheeled out for the first time by a factory test rider yesterday although no lap times have been given.

Team Suzuki completed their test programme today with John Hopkins clocking an impressive time before packing up at 1pm. The team had to end the day early in order to catch an evening flight to Australia, where they will continue testing at the Phillip Island circuit later this week.

Unofficial lap times:

1. Max Biaggi – Repsol Honda : 2'01.501
2. Sete Gibernau – Telefonica Movistar Honda : 2'01.686
3. Nicky Hayden – Repsol Honda : 2'01.717
4. Alex Barros – Camel Honda : 2'01.786 (84)
5. Makoto Tamada – Konica Minolta Honda : 2'01.831 (74)
6. Carlos Checa – Ducati Marlboro : 2'01.891 (52)
7. John Hopkins – Team Suzuki : 2'02.19
8. Loris Capirossi – Ducati Marlboro : 2'02.291 (10)
9. Colin Edwards – Gauloises Yamaha : 2'02.378 (50)
10. Marco Melandri – Telefonica Movistar Honda : 2'02.429
11. Shinichi Itoh – Ducati-Bridgestone TTT : 2'02.551 (56)
12. Toni Elias – Fortuna Yamaha : 2'03.600 (98)
13. Troy Bayliss - Camel Honda : 2'03.75 (77)

MotoGP, 2005

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