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Official Test proceeds at Valencia

Official Test proceeds at Valencia

The weather made for a slow start to the action but by the mid-point of day one 15 riders had been out on track, including Valentino Rossi on the Ducati and Casey Stoner on the Honda with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa leading the times.

A wet track at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia made for a hesitant group of MotoGP riders on Tuesday morning, the first day of the Official two-day MotoGP Test, but by the end of the first session 15 had completed laps as the preparations for the 2011 season got underway.

An excitable media crowd were gathered outside the Ducati Team box as they awaited the appearance of Valentino Rossi on the Desmosedici, and just after 12.20pm local time he became the second MotoGP rider on track after fellow compatriot Loris Capirossi had taken his Pramac Ducati out shortly before. By the halfway stage of the day Rossi had completed 26 laps with a best time of 1’35.134 – eighth in the order – on his debut on the GP11, and Capirossi had put in 24 laps by the same stage with a best effort of 1’36.578.

Top of the timesheet by 2pm local time was Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda rider putting in a best effort of 1’33.722 from eight laps, as he tested a new frame on the RC212V for 2011 against the one he campaigned in the 2010 season. Less than two-tenths behind, San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli was trying out different specifications of the frame used by Pedrosa in 2010, also testing new suspension.

Another rider taking his highly-anticipated first ride for a new team was Casey Stoner, and the Australian’s first nine laps on the Honda produced a best time of 1’34.342 – the third quickest effort as he undertook the same work programme as Pedrosa. His Repsol Honda team-mate for 2011 Andrea Dovizioso had ridden six laps by midway, mirroring Simoncelli’s agenda. 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo had opted not ride by the midway point of the opening day.

Ben Spies began his efforts on the factory Yamaha M1 with former team-mate Colin Edwards following closely on the timesheet on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, with Rizla Suzuki rider Álvaro Bautista timing in just ahead of Rossi.

A first taste of the Pramac Racing Ducati was gained by Randy de Puniet with Paginas Amarillas Aspar rider Héctor Barberá completing the top-ten on the timesheet. Also on track for the first time with his new San Carlo Honda Gresini team was Hiroshi Aoyama, with rookies Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) also gaining time. 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías also took in his first laps with LCR Honda.

You can see a regularly updated timesheet of the Test times by clicking here.


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