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MotoGP returns to Sepang for three day test this week

MotoGP returns to Sepang for three day test this week

Five regular MotoGP competitors, alongside a selection of test riders, will be continuing testing this week in the World Championship's return to Sepang.

Five regular MotoGP competitors, alongside a selection of test riders, will be continuing testing this week in the World Championship's return to Sepang. Three days of on-track action from 5th-7th February follow on from last week's test in Phillip Island, and mark the final unofficial MotoGP test opportunity before the official visits to Jerez and Qatar.

Two of the big names in the premier class make their return after skipping the visit to Australia. Five-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi and Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo left the Japanese factory's work to satellite riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland ‘Down Under', and return the favour at Sepang as they continue development of the pneumatic-valve engine and respective Bridgestone and Michelin tyres.

Rossi was one of the riders to take a tumble at the opening test of the year in Sepang, although he has been quickly regaining fitness after missing a number of tests with a hand injury last year and is approaching full form as the season approaches.

Lorenzo was the fastest Yamaha rider at the previous visit to Malaysia, showing a swift metamorphosis into a MotoGP pacesetter ahead of his rookie season in the class. The reigning 250cc World Champion's cause will be aided by the addition of Yamaha test riders in Sepang to lighten the load, allowing Lorenzo to dedicate himself to further familiarisation.

Nicky Hayden was the second quickest rider last week, but did so on qualifiers with less positive reviews of his race runs. The 2006 MotoGP World Champion will for the second test in succession be the only Repsol Honda rider on track, with Dani Pedrosa looking at an extended absence after fracturing his hand last month.

The remaining full-time riders in Sepang are Honda satellite men Alex de Angelis and Shinya Nakano, riding for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team onboard the RC212V. The duo are amongst the riders yet to receive a 2008 engine, expected to arrive at the middle of the month for the Official Test in Jerez, and will both be working further with the Brigdestone-shod machinery.

Test riders from Honda will also be on-track, as will Kawasaki representatives Olivier Jacque and Tamaki Serizawa. The latter two may be giving further attention to the screamer engine that caused such surprise at the first test of the year, a development not intended for use by regular riders Anthony West and John Hopkins.

Footage from the Sepang Test is available as a one-off package, or in conjunction with previous footage from testing as part of the Winter Premium Package. Details of the deals can be found here.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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