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Melandri fastest in Sepang despite crash

Melandri fastest in Sepang despite crash

Melandri fastest in Sepang despite crash

There was a packed house at the Sepang Circuit this morning, as the majority of MotoGP teams took to the Malaysian track for a private test session in intense heat of around 45 degrees celsius. Unusually the teams began their first session of tests promptly at the circuit this morning, in order to avoid working in the even fiercer midday sun.

At 4pm local time there was a spell of light rainfall, which affected the final period of the test. Some riders decided against taking to the track again, preferring to wait for another opporunity to test in the dry.

In the middle of the morning a crash from Italian rider Marco Melandri forced him onto his second bike, which he took round in 2´01.66, the fastest time of the day (after 74 laps)

Australian Casey Stoner was still feeling the ill-effects of his shoulder injury (suffered last week whilst practising at Phillip Island) and only lapped during the morning. The rookie then went to hospital in order to undergo x-rays, the results of which are still unknown.

The big news from the test was Dani Pedrosa taking his first outing on the 2006 RC211V -the same bike used previously by the rest of the Honda riders- and using full Repsol livery and new tyres. It was another impressive showing for the Spaniard, who was second fastest of the day with a lap of 2´01.89.

The Yamaha prototypes continued to experience problems with chattering, particulary on the long bend of the Malaysian track. Both Colin Edwards (2´02.00) and Valentino Rossi (2´02.20) completed 54 laps on the newest version of the M1.

The Ducati Marlboro riders were lower down the field than in previous tests, Sete Gibernau suffering a gearbox glitch. He went out on the second bike but soon after returned to the box when the rain fell. Tomorrow he and teammate Loris Capirossi will focus on testing the chassis, electronics and tyres.

Sepang Test Day 1

Unofficial Times

1. Marco Melandri - Fortuna Honda 2'01.66
2. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 2'01.89
3. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 2'02.00
4. John Hopkins - Suzuki MotoGP 2'02.15
5. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 2'02.20
6. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 2'02.64
7. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 2'02.75
8. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 2'02.86
9. Carlos Checa - Yamaha Tech 3 2'03.40
10. Casey Stoner - LCR Honda 2'03.40
11. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 2'03.51
12. Toni Elias - Fortuna Honda 2'03.52
13. Kenny Roberts - KR211V 2'03.58
14. Makoto Tamada - Konica Minolta Honda 2'03.66
15. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 2'04.02
16. Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki MotoGP 2'04.10
17. Alex Hofmann - d'Antin Ducati 2'05.40
18. Jose Luis Cardoso - d'Antin Ducati 2'05.81
19. James Ellison - Yamaha Tech 3 2'05.90

MotoGP, 2006, Marco Melandri

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