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Hayden fastest on first day of testing in Qatar

Hayden fastest on first day of testing in Qatar

Hayden fastest on first day of testing in Qatar

Just ten days after the test session held at Phillip Island, Honda and Ducati resumed testing duties in Qatar. Various teams started a three-day test today at the Losail International Circuit. On this first day, Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden set the fastest lap in 1'58.36, just 0.012s ahead of Marco Melandri.

The Italian made steady progress with the RCV211V while his team mate Sete Gibernau was struck by a fever and unable to test. According to his team, the winner of the inaugural Qatari GP should be able to ride tomorrow.

Alex Barros was third fastest ahead of the Ducati Marlboro riders, Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa, who focussed their efforts on the front suspension settings of the Desmosedici GP5.

Max Biaggi was 0.9s adrift from his team-mate and reported set-up issues that led to serious tyre wear. Makoto Tamada, who came from Japan alongside the Repsol Honda riders after the HRC launch event held last weekend in Japan, was seventh fastest, ahead of Troy Bayliss and Italian rookie Roberto Rolfo.

Hayden was satisfied after setting the pace, as the conditions were milder than last summer, when the track hosted the first Qatari GP.
"I'm pretty happy after first the day," said Hayden. "More grip than we had here last time but still real slippery; especially off-line. The wind was the real problem today."

"In the morning it was hard to find a setting I felt totally comfortable with; things came much better in the afternoon. I'm looking forward to the next few days here. We raced here for the first time last year and a few days here will certainly make it easier when we come to the GP here in the fall."

Unofficial lap times:

1. Nicky Hayden – Repsol Honda: 1'58.36
2. Marco Melandri – Telefonica Movistar Honda: 1'58.48
3. Alex Barros – Camel Honda: 1'58.90
4. Loris Capirossi – Ducati Marlboro: 1'58.92
5. Carlos Checa – Ducati Marlboro: 1'59.14
6. Max Biaggi – Repsol Honda: 1'59.20
7. Makoto Tamada – Konica Minolta Honda: 1'59.47
8. Troy Bayliss – Camel Honda: 2'00.68
9. Roberto Rolfo – D'Antin Ducati: 2'03.50

MotoGP, 2005, Nicky Hayden

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