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Winter testing kicks off at Valencia

Winter testing kicks off at Valencia

Winter testing kicks off at Valencia

Winter testing began today at Valencia in cloudy and cold conditions. Spanish riders Sete Gibernau and Dani Pedrosa were the centre of attention as they made their debuts on new machinery with Ducati Marlboro and Repsol Honda respectively.

Triple World Champion Pedrosa made a discreet debut on the 4-stroke Honda, working mainly on finding a comfortable position on the bike.

This morning's proceedings saw Carlos Checa crash out on his third lap aboard the Honda Pons' RC211V. The Spanish veteran suffered chest injuries and was transferred to a hospital in Valencia after being examined by the Clinica Mobile staff, but was eventually discharged unhurt.

Meanwhile, Casey Stoner rode the second Honda Pons RC211V as Toni Elias began work alongside Marco Melandri on the Fortuna Honda team's RC211V.

The test started at 10.00 AM with James Ellison and Roberto Rolfo, on Team D'Antin Pramac's Ducati Demosedicis, being the first riders out on the track along with Ducati Marlboro test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi. They were joined a bit later by three Suzuki riders, 2006 official riders John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen and also test rider Nobu Aoki.

In the Kawasaki camp, Randy de Puniet's first proper outing on the Ninja ZX-RR was stopped by an engine problem. The French rookie is working alongside compatriot Olivier Jacque, the Japanese factory's test rider for this two-day session.

HRC riders Andrea Dovizioso - best rookie in the 250cc class this year - and his successor as the new 125cc World Champion, Thomas Lüthi, enjoyed the opportunity to test the Honda RC211V used by Gibernau this year.

By midday light rain had put a halt to the test with most riders returning to their box waiting for an improvement in conditions in the afternoon.

MotoGP, 2005

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