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Hayden and Pedrosa top the timesheets at Phillip Island

Hayden and Pedrosa top the timesheets at Phillip Island

MotoGP's Australian preseason excursion drew to a close today, as the majority of the premier class teams concluded their three-day test at the Phillip Island circuit. Riders from Ducati, Honda, Team KR and Suzuki have been putting the new 800cc bikes through their paces since Tuesday, aiming to gather vital new data and experience before the 2007 season kicks off on March 10th in Qatar.

MotoGP's Australian preseason excursion drew to a close today, as the majority of the premier class teams concluded their three-day test at the Phillip Island circuit. Riders from Ducati, Honda, Team KR and Suzuki have been putting the new 800cc bikes through their paces since Tuesday, aiming to gather vital new data and experience before the 2007 season kicks off on March 10th in Qatar.

World Champion Nicky Hayden was the outstanding rider of day three, topping the timesheets with the fastest time of the test. Despite admitting earlier in the week that work would still need to be done to adapt the bike to his physical requirements, the Kentucky Kid didn't seem to be too hindered on the RC212V's final run-out of the week, clocking a 1'29.52 lap which signalled Repsol Honda's first top spot of 2007.

After yesterday's Ducati dominance, today saw something of a turnaround, with Honda's two factory riders leading the way. Hayden's team-mate Dani Pedrosa was just two tenths of a second slower than the American, and the duo were the only riders to break the 1'30 barrier ‘down under.'

Loris Capirossi and local rider Casey Stoner went round in similar times to their day two laps, undertaking work with their Bridgestone qualifying tyres. The Ducati Marlboro factory team and the Pramac d'Antin satellite outfit were tightly packed together on the timesheets, with Capirossi and Stoner only slightly quicker than Alex Hofmann and Alex Barros. Brazilian veteran Barros went quickest on the first two days of testing in Australia, and the fast times from all four Desmosedici GP7s show that the new Ducati will be a competitive ride in 2007. Ducati Marlboro concluded their work at Phillip Island shortly after 2pm local time.

LCR Honda's Carlos Checa cut four tenths of a second off his time from yesterday, and luckily was untroubled by seagulls today. The Spaniard was a victim of a low-flying attack on Wednesday, which contributed to the red flag being shown and a short delay to the session. He was just faster than Gresini Honda rider Toni Elias, with Rizla Suzuki's local rider Chris Vermeulen still unable to find a way to push the GSV-R800 up the timesheets at a track which they traditionally don't enjoy. The Australian finished ahead of Marco Melandri and team-mate John Hopkins over a second behind Hayden's final day time, with Shinya Nakano and Kenny Roberts Jr rounding off the list of participants.

Whilst the teams present at Phillip Island take a well deserved break before the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar on February 13th, the absentees from this week's action undertake a test from Monday at Sepang in Malaysia. The factory Yamaha team, in addition to satellite outfit Tech 3, will be on track alongside Kawasaki Racing and the first appearance outside of Europe for the Ilmor Team.

MotoGP Phillip Island Test: Day Three
Unofficial Times

1. Nicky Hayden- Repsol Honda 1'29.52
2. Dani Pedrosa-Repsol Honda 1'29.72
3. Loris Capirossi-Ducati Marlboro 1'30.149
4. Casey Stoner-Ducati Marlboro 1'30.206
5. Alex Hofmann-Pramac d'Antin Ducati 1'30.21
6. Alex Barros-Pramac d'Antin Ducati 1'30.43
7. Carlos Checa-Honda LCR 1'30.46
8. Toni Elias-Gresini Honda 1'30.5
9. Chris Vermeulen- Rizla Suzuki 1'30.72
10. Marco Melandri-Gresini Honda 1'30.80
11. John Hopkins- Rizla Suzuki 1'30.80
12. Shinya Nakano-Konica Minolta Honda 1'30.97
13. Kenny Roberts JR-Team Roberts 1'31.10

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa

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