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Ducati out in front in Jerez

Ducati out in front in Jerez

Ducati out in front in Jerez

Today saw the premier class of MotoGP gathering in Jerez for the first of three testing sessions, which will serve as the final chance for fine-tuning ahead of the 2006 season. The day was one of sunshine and only a light breeze, helping to keep temperatures around a comfortable 20 degrees.

The paddock and grandstands of the Andalusian track have seen a steady intake of fans, taking in something of an appetiser ahead of the weekend's MotoGP main course.

The factory Ducati team dominated proceedings on day one, with Loris Capirossi clocking the fastest time of the session with a lap very close to that which earned Valentino Rossi the pole position last season. With teammate Sete Gibernau second on the leaderboard, Ducati were the first of a series of teams to post strong times on Bridgestone-shod bikes, demonstrating the tyre's suitability for the Jerez track.

"It's been a positive day. We finally had good weather conditions and were able to work calmly all day. From the minute I went out I felt at ease on the GP6 and we were able to improve throughout the sessions, making only minor modifications to the set-up. The bike has improved a great deal and the tyres are very good. Tomorrow we hope the weather will allow us to do a race distance test" said Capirossi following the day's testing.

Following on from a great showing at the MotoGP Official Test in Catalunya last week, Shinya Nakano gave his Kawasaki team a welcome boost, coming after the news that one of their trucks had crashed on the way to the circuit.

It was a much better day for Honda, who had struggled last week. The Spanish duo of official factory rider Dani Pedrosa and satellite team man Toni Elias no doubt gave much encouragement to the Japanese constructor, although they will be looking to see the RC211V taking victories in the coming season. Two of last week's surprise packages, Carlos Checa and John Hopkins were again amongst the top riders. Checa taking the fifth spot and Hopkins continuing to put in fast laps on the Suzuki GSV-R. Rounding off the top ten was Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, a rider who went off the track three times and crashed twice in his quest to take the Kawasaki Ninja round in the fastest time possible.

Jerez Test MotoGP
Times: Day One
1. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 1'40.910
2. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 1'41.176
3. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 1'41.477
4. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'41.499
5. Toni Elías - Fortuna Honda 1'41.680
6. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 1'41.730
7. Carlos Checa - Tech 3 Yamaha 1'41.732
8. John Hopkins - Rizla Suzuki 1'41.740
9. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 1'41.861
10. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 1'41.915

MotoGP, 2006

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