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Big guns out for first day at Sepang

Big guns out for first day at Sepang

Big guns out for first day at Sepang

The first day of the Sepang Test passed with much normality. The predicted high temperatures and elevated humidity meant that the rainfall of the early hours was little more than a triviality.

The great surprise to come from this first practice emanated from the Yamaha Factory Team, who have already presented their new image for the 2006 season. The team management have made their first evaluations of the new M1, a bike which is a development of the 2005 model rather than a revolution of the previous prototype, the small amount of changes to the foundations which brought them so much success last season underlining their happiness with the bike.

Valentino Rossi -in his element dressed in the new yellow Yamaha uniform- had joked to the press that he wasn´t sure if he would be able to ride well after so many days off. After completing his initial laps in the first half of the day, the Italian rider declared himself comfortable on the bike, although he noted that there was a small "chattering" problem.

This meeting has allowed another chance to look at the new batch of MotoGp rookies who will burst onto the scene in 2006. Triple champion Dani Pedrosa confirmed that his main task for preseason will be focusing on adapting to the new category, and for this purpose he will clock up some kilometres on the 2005 RC211V, leaving Nicky Hayden in charge of developing the new bike.

The Ducati Marlboro team were one of the teams to take the fewest laps round the Asian circuit. Loris Capirossi- who went off the track twice- and Sete Gibernau have been able to get a feel for the new Desmosedici GP06, which was unveiled last week at the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio.

Another notable image from the first hours at the Malaysian circuit has been the sight of Casey Stoner´s debut with Lucio Cecchinello´s team. The Australian includes Ramón Forcada as his chief mechanic, traditionally Alex Barros´ confidante in the Sito Pons team. Former World Champion Álex Crivillé has also been seen at the test, undertaking his new role as Toni Elias´ adviser.

Kenny Roberts Jr, absente from the final races of 2005 through injury, was working with his father´s KR team, onboard a Honda-powered bike.

MotoGP, 2006

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