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MotoGP action resumes at a scorching Sepang

MotoGP action resumes at a scorching Sepang

MotoGP action resumes at a scorching Sepang

Testing kicked off today at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia with high temperatures and humidity dominating the first day. All of the Honda MotoGP teams have gathered at the Malaysian venue for the test with the exception of Makoto Tamada's Konica Minolta Honda team. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa resumed his work on a tailor-made version of the RC211V, comprising a smaller tail, uniquely-anchored foot pegs and an isolated exhaust tube with the Spaniard previously having been bothered by excessive heat.

Toni Elias was another rider garnering experience on the 4-stroke Honda alongside his Fortuna Honda team-mate Marco Melandri. The Honda Pons team were also resuming their winter schedule with Carlos Checa and Casey Stoner in action.

Suzuki's John Hopkins was the first rider to hit the track on board the new version of the GSV-R, while team-mate Chris Vermeulen lapped on the 2005 machine. The Australian is scheduled to test the latest evolution of the Japanese prototype on Tuesday.

In the Yamaha camp Valentino Rossi focused on tyre testing before trying out the new M1 which he was originally scheduled to debut on Tuesday. However, it was Yamaha test riders Norihiko Fujiwara and Wataru Yoshikawa who were the first riders to test the new bike ahead of the Italian. Rossi decided to sport his new #7 white crash helmet, celebrating the seventh World title he clinched at the Malaysian Grand Prix held back in September.

"It has been a long year! A few days ago I drove in a rally event, I had some fun testing a Formula 1 car and I could relax a bit, but now at this time of the year I begin to feel tired! I tried the new M1 prototype and we made a few adjustments. There aren't big differences with the old one, we just have to see if it's quicker and if we are headed in the right direction," said Rossi.

Elsewhere, the first day of testing saw James Ellison make his debut with the Tech3 team on a Dunlop-shod Yamaha. French rookie Randy de Puniet continued his adaptation to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR, while Shinya Nakano started work on the 2006 version of the bike.

Unofficial times

1. Marco Melandri Fortuna Honda 2.02.95
2. Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 2.03.20
3. Carlos Checa Honda Pons 2.03.58
4. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 2.03.75
5. Colin Edwards Gauloises Yamaha 2.03.78
6. Valentino Rossi Gauloises Yamaha 2.03.80
7 Toni Elias Fortuna Honda 2.04.05
8. John Hopkins Suzuki 2.04.13
9. Casey Stoner Honda Pons 2.04.29
10. Shinya Nakano Kawasaki 2.04.90
11. James Ellison Yamaha 2.05.10
12. Chris Vermuelen Suzuki 2.05.56
13. Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 2.05.60

MotoGP, 2005

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