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Edwards and Rossi maintain Yamaha form at Official Test in Qatar

Edwards and Rossi maintain Yamaha form at Official Test in Qatar

The entire 2007 MotoGP grid and the full quota of 800cc bikes were gathered together for the first time today, as all 21 riders participated in the first day of the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar.

The entire 2007 MotoGP grid and the full quota of 800cc bikes were gathered together for the first time today, as all 21 riders participated in the first day of the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar. The three days of preparation will be crucial for the teams, as they prepare for their next visit to Losail for the season's curtain-raiser on March 10th.

Carrying on from where he left off at last week's test at Sepang, Colin Edwards was the fastest rider on day one in Qatar. The factory Yamaha rider, who predicted the possibility of a one-two with team-mate Valentino Rossi this season after topping the timesheets in Malaysia, put in a lap of 1'56.774 during the afternoon run-out.

Five times MotoGP World Champion Rossi was close behind the ‘Texan Tornado', trailing his Yamaha colleague by just over a tenth of a second. More and more comfortable on the 800cc M1, the Italian has had a storming preseason so far, and continued to work hard on the bike at the track where he won his first race of the 2006 season.

In his best performance so far in preseason, Casey Stoner was the fastest Ducati at Losail today. The Australian joined Edwards and Rossi as one of only three riders to break the 1'57 barrier as he revisited the scene of his first ever premier class pole.

Heading an American trio that completed the top six, Kenny Roberts Jr was another rider to pick up the pace on the opening day in Qatar. After initial tests less than a month ago, the KR212V appears to have undergone a rapid development process as the team look to build on a resurgent final 990cc season.

Reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden was on the pace despite placing outside the fastest four, just under half a second off Edwards' fastest lap at a session where the top ten were all within a breath of each other. He continued work on the new Michelin 16" front tyre which is to become the French manufacturer's standard in 2007.

Suzuki's John Hopkins rounded off the top six, ahead of premier class veterans Loris Capirossi, Carlos Checa and Alex Barros, who suffered a light crash in the afternoon without consequences. A rider thankfully staying accident-free was the returning Jeremy McWilliams, making a brave comeback after the numerous injuries he suffered at his previous test at Jerez. The Ilmor GP rider had to use crutches to move around the paddock but, once on the bike, was able to continue development of the newest team on the MotoGP grid's 800cc prototype.

Temperatures at the track were a comfortable 23ºC, and rain was never a threat to the proceedings. The MotoGP Official Test continues in Qatar tomorrow from 9am local time.

MotoGP Official Test: Qatar

Unofficial Times

1. Colin Edwards, Yamaha Factory - 1'56.774
2. Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory - 1'56.891
3. Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro – 1´56.960
4. Kenny Roberts Jr, Team Roberts - 1'´57.064
5. Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda - 1'57.070
6. John Hopkins, Rizla Suzuki - 1'57.350
7. Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro - 1'57.360
8. Carlos Checa, Honda LCR - 1'57.370
9. Alex Barros, Pramac d'Antin - 1'57.690
10.Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – 1´57.700
11. Randy de Puniet, Kawasaki Racing - 1'57.730
12. Marco Melandri, Honda Gresini – 1´57.760
13. Alex Hofmann, Pramac d'Antin - 1'57.800
14. Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda - 1'57.850
15. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki - 1'57.900
16. Makoto Tamada, Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 - 1'58.408
17. Olivier Jacque, Kawasaki Racing - 1'58.740
18. Toni Elias, Honda Gresini – 1´59.400
19. Sylvain Guintoli, Dunlop Yamaha Tech3 - 1'59.700
20. Shinichi Ito, Ducati TTT – 1´59.966
21. Andrew Pitt, Ilmor GP – 2´01.667
22. Jeremy McWilliams, Ilmor GP - 2'10.341

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards

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