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New arrivals get acquainted at Valencia test

New arrivals get acquainted at Valencia test

The first half-day of winter 2007-08 testing at Valencia allowed several riders to familiarise themselves with new bikes and new teams. Here are the reactions of the riders who have swapped teams for 2008.

The first half-day of winter 2007-08 testing at Valencia allowed several riders to familiarise themselves with new bikes and new teams. Here are the reactions of the riders who have swapped teams for 2008.

Ducati Marlboro's new recruit Marco Melandri clocked his first laps on the World Championship winning Desmosedici GP07 and appeared pleased with his debut on the Italian machinery. "I've had my first ride on the bike with the aim of understanding it as much as possible," commented Melandri. "The thing that has impressed me most is the way the team works. I'm not used to so many people asking so many questions and listening to me every time I ride into the pit."

"It has been a new and very pleasant experience, they make me feel appreciated and I'm very happy to be here. We have a lot of work to do but I'm very motivated and ready to do what is necessary to exploit this bike's great potential."

Former Ducati spearhead Loris Capirossi, meanwhile, was riding the GSV-R800 Suzuki for the first time alongside new team-mate Chris Vermeulen and test-rider Nobu Aoki.

The veteran Italian stated: "The first couple of hours that I have ridden the Suzuki have been very good. The feeling with the bike is excellent and I already have a good relationship with the team. We have one more day to work, but I am very happy for the start we have had today. We need to keep our concentration for the rest of the test, but so far I am really pleased with the way things are going!"

There were many newcomers in the Honda camp, including Frenchman Randy de Puniet with Honda LCR, who said: "It has been a good day, I'm happy. After 20 laps I started to have a good feeling with the Honda and to be just 0.4s slower than my race time on Sunday is very encouraging. I started with Carlos Checa's race set-up and only made some small changes, although I was 5 kph faster in top speed compared to Carlos."

"I'm impressed with the switch to Michelin, the difference in tyres is not as big as I anticipated it would be. It was positive day, no problems, although there is still a lot to understand about the Honda, and my first impression is that the motor feels much easier to ride from lower rpm."

The Gresini Honda team has a completely new line-up for 2008, including Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis, one of the three riders to step up from the 250cc class this year.

"I was excited and a bit nervous before going on track," said the rider from San Marino. "It was my first time on a MotoGP bike. Once I went on track, the tension went way and I felt much more comfortable. I appreciated a lot the power and the electronics of the RC212V, in particular I like the feeling when I get on the gas. I still have a lot to learn, in particular I need to charge the front more, otherwise the bike wheelies and I have to get used with the feeling with carbon brakes. Everything is new for me but today it seemed easier than I expected."

Continuing his career with Honda, Nakano is switching back to Bridgestone tyres after moving to the satellite Honda Gresini squad and he explained: "I'm very satisfied with today's testing, it's only the first day but I got positive impressions. We focused on testing and I'm impressed by the feeling with the rear tyre, as the grip is excellent."

"We suffered a bit from chattering with the front. We changed tyre and the feeling improved. Tomorrow we will test another tyre and we will see the difference. At the moment we haven't worked with the set up so we don't know if this chattering is related to the tyre or the setting. I'm still not confident so I lapped trying to understand the bike and the tyres without pushing too much. I'm very happy with the team, I feel well supported."

Former 125cc World Champion and regular rival of Jorge Lorenzo and De Angelis in the 250cc class, Andrea Dovizioso began working with JiR Team Scot. "I found the RC212V easier to ride than my 250," said the Italian. "The electronics control things very well. Today I concentrated on getting a good feeling with the bike and testing tyres. I tried only two different types but tomorrow we will try several more, including the same tyres Dani (Pedrosa) used in the race here on Sunday. The only difficulty I had today was coping with the engine braking system, the feeling is so much different to my 250cc 2-stroke but I really like the machine."

Like Honda Gresini, Pramac d'Antin have totally changed their line-up for 2008, signing 2007 'Rookie of the Year' Sylvain Guintoli and fiery Spaniard Toni Elias.

"I'm very happy with my first contact with the Ducati, because I adapted quickly in the few laps with the bike," said Elias, who has previously ridden for Honda and Yamaha in the premier class. "The feeling has been very good, and I like the team. Everything is new for me, and little by little I'm going to work to understand all the new impressions the bike gives me. Tomorrow we will work on the set-up a little more to continue improving and continue to adapt parts of the bike to my style of riding."

Frenchman Guintoli was equally pleased with his first contact with his new team: "My first impressions are very good, with the bike and with the team. The atmosphere is laid-back in general, and this makes me feel at ease. The Ducati is a great package, with a very fast engine, and a chassis and suspension combination that allow me to ride with total confidence. Tomorrow, I hope to continue adapting to the bike and lowering my times, and little by little start adjusting things to my preference."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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