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Vermeulen tops test timesheets after difficult weekend

Vermeulen tops test timesheets after difficult weekend

Following a tough few days in Japan for Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, the Australian was the fastest rider on track on Monday's post-race day of testing – as a group of eight Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha riders worked tirelessly at Motegi.

Following a tough few days in Japan for Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, the Australian was the fastest rider on track on Monday's post-race day of testing – as a group of eight Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha riders worked tirelessly at Motegi.

After qualifying in his worst position of the season (17th) on Saturday and finishing a complicated race in 11th place, it was a positive day's work for Vermeulen in cloudy and cooler conditions, with just a few spots of rain falling, but not dampening the track considerably.

Vermeulen's unofficial best lap time of 1'47.894 was marginally better than his A-Style Grand Prix of Japan qualifying effort, but still roughly two seconds off the time that gave Dani Pedrosa pole position.

While the Repsol Honda team were present Pedrosa's Sunday crash and resultant foot injury meant he was unable to take part – but the ever industrious Nicky Hayden put in 86 laps, the day after officially being relieved of the MotoGP World Championship crown by Casey Stoner. The 2006 World Champion took the opportunity to perform analysis work on a modified swing-arm and also tested the latest crop of high performance MotoGP tyres from Michelin.

Unsurprisingly Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi also participated as he goes in search of increased competitiveness having missed out on the title for two years in succession – looking to collect further tyre data and continuing to develop the new engine of his Yamaha M1.

On his long day of testing Hayden commented: "Looking back to yesterday I felt like if things had gone differently we could have had a much better result, so the only thing to do is come back here today and go to work. We spent time this morning checking some settings and testing a few modifications from HRC. We also tested some tyres for Michelin – both front and rear – in particular looking to help with the grip and performance in the first few laps so that they come in a bit quicker."

"That was a big part of the day with the tyres playing a huge role in things right now. We were lucky with the weather conditions today because it looked a little bit threatening and it definitely wasn't a day to be at the beach. A few times I got a little bit of mist on the visor but we were able to get quite a lot done."

Several riders will continue to test at Motegi on Tuesday before MotoGP takes a two weekend break ahead of the next round at Phillip Island which takes place on October 14.

Unofficial Motegi test times from Monday:
1. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP - 1'47.894
2. Colin Edwards, Fiat Yamaha Team - 1'47.947
3. Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team - 1'48.065
4. Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team - 1'48.213
5. Kousuke Akiyoshi, Rizla Suzuki Team - 1'49.090
6. Akira Yanagawa, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1'50.229
7. Tadayuki Okada, HRC Test Rider - 1'50.641
8. Nobuatsu Aoki, Suzuki Test Rider - 1'50.675

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Chris Vermeulen

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