Andrea Dovizioso making progress with the Repsol Honda team in Jerez

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The first day of practice for the MotoGP riders ends with the Italian seventh. Kousuke Akiyoshi substitutes Dani Pedrosa who is still recovering from an injury.

The riders in the top category took over the track at the circuit of Jerez today after three days of practrice for the riders in 125cc. and 250cc. This weekend sees the final two days of practice before the 2009 MotoGP season starts. This will be on 12th April at the circuit of Losail, when the Qatar Grand Prix will be held, the only race in the calendar held at night.

Rain during the night and rain in the morning affected the normal schedule of MotoGP practice, although fortunately for the teams at the circuit, the warm temperature and the appearance of sunshine made the track dry out in time for the afternoon session to take place without the slightest problem.

Dani Pedrosa, still recovering from the injury he had during practice at the circuit in Qatar back at the beginning of the month, is not able to attend these practice sessions and has been substituted by the Japanese Honda test rider, Kousuke Akiyoshi. He rode Dani`s bike with the same setup that the Spanish Repsol Honda Team rider uses and did 69 laps of the track in the province of Cadiz, spending the day with all kinds of tests on the chassis, engine, suspension and on the all-round setup of the Honda RC212V that will be ridden by Dani Pedrosa. Tomorrow the Honda test rider will continue testing and will carry out the schedule drawn up by Pedrosa`s team of technicians, and so continue making progress whilst the team waits for Pedrosa to return.

Andrea Dovizioso, on his second visit to the circuit of Jerez on the official Repsol Honda RC212V– in November he practised there for three days – continued to make progress with his lap times and with the setup on his bike. In total Dovizioso did 74 laps of the track, setting his fastest time on number 73 – the seventh fastest overall of the MotoGP riders. Another positive day for the Italian in Jerez, according to the rider himself at the end of the session.

Andrea Dovizioso
“Despite the rain this morning the track dried quite quickly so we could make good use of the day. That’s good because Honda has brought a lot of new material here and we’ve got a lot of things to test. In general the package has improved and we’ve made progress on both the engine and chassis side. Obviously we want to take another step to make sure we’re fully competitive at the first race, so we’re planning to have another good day tomorrow.”

Kousuke Akiyoshi
“It’s my third time on this machine and there is still a lot of power to get used to! When the circuit dried we were able to begin working on a range of engine and chassis settings and the progress was pretty good, taking one step at a time. I’m quite happy with my lap time from today, and we’ll be looking to improve that further tomorrow.”

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