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Sepang welcomes first MotoGP test of 2007

Sepang welcomes first MotoGP test of 2007

Sepang welcomes first MotoGP test of 2007

After the customary testing ban of just over one and a half months, MotoGP bikes return to the track for the resumption of 800cc development. It will be the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia where fans will get their first chance to see who leads the way on the new generation of MotoGP bike, with the majority of premier class teams testing from the 22nd to 24th of January.

In fact, it is only the Ilmor Team who will sit out the Asian visit completely, choosing instead to put the finishing touches to the V4 in Europe and wait for injured rider Jeremy McWilliams to make a complete recovery after his accident in the final test of 2006. The newest team on the MotoGP grid will also sit out the next test on the calendar, at Phillip Island in Australia.

The 800cc bikes seem to have thrown the already unpredictable world of MotoGP favourites wide open, with no team holding a clear advantage in the initial tests. Of those that have been going strong, perhaps the most impressive frontrunner has been Rizla Suzuki. John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen rode the GSV-R800 for the first time the day after the race at Valencia, and seem to have taken to the bike like ducks to water by placing alongside larger factories at the top of the timesheets.

Other riders to watch out for will be Dani Pedrosa, who ended the final test at Jerez fastest and is tipped by many as a top beneficiary of the more compact 800cc prototypes, alongside World Champion Nicky Hayden on the Repsol Honda factory bike and former title holder Valentino Rossi. Another rider to go well in postseason, Marco Melandri, continues his adaptation to Bridgestone tyres for Gresini Honda, whilst Ducati are renowned for putting in fast times to open a new year.

The KR212V, Team KR's newest prototype, makes its debut at the Asian track, the last bike to have an 800cc test.

Action and interviews, along with the latest news from Sepang, can be found at

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MotoGP, 2007

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