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Gloomy Valencia stages first day of winter test

Gloomy Valencia stages first day of winter test

Gloomy Valencia stages first day of winter test

There was plenty of action today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, both on and off the track, as the Spanish venue hosted the first test session of the winter. Conditions were far from ideal with cold temperatures, strong winds and rain all hampering the riders.

Repsol Honda's newcomer Dani Pedrosa began his adaptation to the 4-stroke machine, spending most of the day making positional adjustments and lapping cautiously to get a feel for the 240 bhp bike.

"This day allowed me to get a first contact with bike, see how the team works and also how the bike and tyres work. This track is well-suited to discovering a new bike, but we'll have to wait and see what happens on faster tracks," said Pedrosa. "The gap between 250 and MotoGP is much bigger than between 125 and 250. It's a steep learning curve, the bike is much faster and you have to be very careful." Other Spanish riders were also making their debut on new machinery after changing teams: Sete Gibernau rode the Ducati Demosedici for the first time, clocking thirty two laps, while Toni Elias racked up thirty four laps on the Fortuna Honda RC211V.

Former Ducati man Carlos Checa also had his first run on Honda machinery, but crashed after only three laps. He underwent medicals at the Clinica Mobile, and at a Valencia hospital, but didn't suffer any serious injuries.

Alongside him in the Honda Pons garage was Casey Stoner who completed his first laps on a MotoGP machine, and the Australian youngster is being tipped to team up with Checa at the Spanish team next season.

Another Australian rookie was out on track, Suzuki's new signing Chris Vermeulen who rode for Camel Honda at Phillip Island and Istanbul.

Meanwhile, Honda also invited 125cc World Champion Thomas Lüthi and 250cc Rookie of the Year Andrea Dovizioso to test the RC211V.

1. Nicky Hayden, Honda - 1'34.4 / 53 laps
2. Marco Melandri, Honda - 1'34.7 / 8
3. John Hopkins, Suzuki - 1'34.9
4. Casey Stoner, Honda - 1'35.0 / 69
5. Carlos Checa, Honda - 1'35.1 / 33
6. Sete Gibernau, Ducati - 1'35.2 / 32
7. Daniel Pedrosa, Honda - 1'35.5 / 62
8. Toni Elías, Honda - 1'35.7 / 34
9. James Ellison, Ducati - 1'35.7 / 74
10. Roberto Rolfo, Ducati - 1'35.7 / 55
11. Nobuatsu Aoki, Suzuki - 1'35.8 / 41
12. Olivier Jacque, Kawasaki - 1'35.9 / 32
13. Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki - 1'36.3
14. Randy De Puniet, Kawasaki - 1'36.5 / 58
15. Loris Capirossi, Ducati - 1'36.8 / 17
16. Andrea Dovizioso, Honda - 1'39.5 / 27
17. Thomas Luthi, Honda - 1'44.2 / 27

MotoGP, 2005

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