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Jerez test to round off a busy winter schedule

Jerez test to round off a busy winter schedule

Jerez test to round off a busy winter schedule

The three-day test held this week-end at the Jerez circuit, in Spain, will bring an end to an active winter for the MotoGP teams. After Sepang, Phillip Island and other testing venues, the Andalusian track will be the last stop of the pre-season before the Championship kicks off on April 10th.

Last week, the first MotoGP official test at Catalunya saw Telefonica Movistar Honda's Sete Gibernau setting the pace during the traditional pre-season shoot-out, ahead of title favourites Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha). The ‘Roman Emperor' was the fastest rider during the two previous days but a last minute technical glitch prevented him continuing his domination, while arch rival Rossi, the reigning MotoGP World Champion, only seemed to recover on the last day after dealing with set-up problems.

This week's test is of utmost importance as Jerez will also host the opening round of the 2005 season, the Gran Premio Marlboro de España. It may also allow the Ducati Marlboro team to conclude their pre-season on a more positive note after a lacklustre weekend at Catalunya. Unfortunately, Carlos Checa won't take part in the proceedings after being diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder. After struggling with poor grip at the recently resurfaced Catalunya track, the Bridgestone-shod teams are looking forward a positive outing at Jerez, where the Ducati riders achieved impressive results in December.

Many riders will also try extend the decent run of speed they established last week: Alex Barros, who joins Sito Pons' Camel Honda team again this year, was fourth fastest ahead of Nicky Hayden; Honda newcomer Marco Melandri will be another man to watch as the Italian set the sixth best time at Catalunya.

MotoGP, 2005

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