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Barcelona test concludes for MotoGP stars

Barcelona test concludes for MotoGP stars

Andrea Dovizioso quickest in first of two 2009 season testing days.

A one-day test on Monday concluded MotoGP’s four-day stay on the asphalt of the Circuit de Catalunya, as teams got their first chance since the start of the season to work on their bikes with official riders and extended time.

A fight for the fastest time of the day was never going to be the primary focus of the day, with an extensive list of new parts and setup ideas to be tried out. The quickest rider of the session was Andrea Dovizioso, with a time of 1’42.230 set early onboard his new chassis-equipped Repsol Honda RC212V.

The five speediest riders were Dovizioso, Fiat Yamaha’s race day one-two of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo (separated by less than a hundredth of a second), Mika Kallio and Casey Stoner, all quicker than the fastest Sunday race lap.

Early conditions in Barcelona were hot but overcast, with the briefest of showers falling at midday. Any moisture dried up immediately, however, with no interruption to the crucial test.

Valentino Rossi usually produces his best work in the afternoon, as evidenced in Sunday’s race at the Barcelona track, and he didn’t see much –if any- of the morning from the comfort of his motorhome. He only started his testing work after the hour-long lunch break had concluded at 2pm, leaving him with four hours in which to test various components for his M1 bike. A new engine spec designed for longer lifespan –crucial when limitations come into place from the Brno round- was on the list, as well as a new Bridgestone rear in the early stages of development. The tyre uses a construction intended for use at Phillip Island and its particular demands.

Raceday runner-up Jorge Lorenzo did not join his teammate in running the new engine spec, instead focusing his attention on electronics.

Casey Stoner would have been forgiven for not even getting out of bed on Monday morning, based on his extreme exhaustion and flash illness evident after the podium ceremony. The gritty Australian decided to give his condition an early examination with some morning laps, and he continued to ride in short stints in order to test a new setup and electronics alongside his fellow Ducati riders.

Niccolò Canepa crashed his Desmosedici satellite machine with a few hours remaining on the testing clock, falling on turn four of the Circuit de Catalunya. He escaped uninjured, in contrast to one of those present but not testing on Monday. Scot Racing’s Yuki Takahashi watched the action –and in particular the development of new teammate Gabor Talmacsi- from the sidelines after breaking his ring finger in a race crash the previous day. Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri had his own fall just moments before the end of the test, concluding his day with a routine examination in the medical centre.

The next chance for the riders to use any potential breakthroughs will be at the upcoming Alice TT Assen round of the World Championship, and in the hours following the Barcelona test the teams will submit their tyre choices for the Dutch race to Bridgestone as per the new regulation premiering this week.

The final testing opportunity of 2009 for the regular competitors in MotoGP will come on the Monday following the Czech Republic race in August.

Full results from the Monday test can be found here.


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