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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
De Puniet fastest at Sepang test

By Glenn FreemanThursday, November 15th 2007, 11:33 GMT
Randy de Puniet set the pace on the first day of MotoGP testing at Sepang on Thursday for the LCR Honda squad.
Despite a fall, the Frenchman continued to enjoy his switch to a new bike and Michelin tyres, as he set a time three tenths of a second faster than Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen.
Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi both stuck to using the 2007 Suzuki GSV-R, as rain in the afternoon prevented them from using the 2008 machine.
Colin Edwards was third fastest on his first day riding for the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, while his teammate James Toseland was the slowest of the MotoGP riders, 2.4 seconds adrift of De Puniet's best effort.
Andrea Dovizioso was the top 250cc graduate at the test as he set the fourth fastest time, while double 250cc world champion Jorge Lorenzo was only ninth fastest.
The Spaniard was the only factory Yamaha rider at the test, as Valentino Rossi is still recovering from the hand injury he sustained at Valencia.
Nicky Hayden was the only rider to test a 2008-spec bike during the first day, and the 2006 world champion set the seventh fastest time on his Repsol Honda.
Today's times:
Pos Rider Team Time Laps 1. Randy de Puniet Honda LCR 2:03.033 31 2. Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 2:03.357 42 3. Colin Edwards Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.406 29 4. Andrea Dovizioso JiR Team Scot 2:03.607 21 5. Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 2:03.748 29 6. Anthony West Kawasaki 2:04.068 35 7. Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda 2:04.164 36 8. John Hopkins Kawasaki 2:04.316 18 9. Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 2:04.433 3310. James Toseland Yamaha Tech 3 2:05.438 29All Timing Unofficial
 

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News 15/11/2007 Rain interrupts testing for Fiat Yamaha Team in Sepang


Heavy rain in Sepang drastically limited track time for the Fiat Yamaha Team today, as they began three days of testing in Malaysia alongside several other MotoGP teams. With Valentino Rossi still at home recuperating from a broken hand, it is just Jorge Lorenzo taking part in the team’s testing programme this week, the 20-year old Spaniard riding the M1 for the second time since the end of the season as he prepares to officially join the team in January.

After rain early in the morning it took some time for the track to dry out and Lorenzo did not get started until just after 11am. The MotoGP rookie completed 26 laps as he continued to develop his understanding of his new bike and tyres and was looking forward to continuing his work in the afternoon, but another heavy rainstorm after lunch meant the track did not dry out sufficiently again and the team abandoned testing for the day. Lorenzo posted the 9th fastest time of the day with a lap of 2’04.433, with the unofficial time sheets topped by Randy de Puniet, in a time of 2’03.033.

Jorge Lorenzo (9th, 2’04.433, 26 Laps)
“It’s a pity about the weather but overall the first day has been quite positive, even if I haven’t been so fast. We managed to do 26 laps before lunch and then the rain came and we weren’t able to do anymore, so hopefully it will be better tomorrow because we have a lot to do! All the time I’m feeling more natural on the bike and I can feel the difference from Valencia, but I need to make a few changes to my riding style in order to fully adapt and we’re working on this. It’s hard for me to use all the power at the moment and I need to learn to be slower and smoother in the corners and to open the throttle a bit earlier. I’m struggling a bit to find the fast lap times but this is normal because there is still so m uch about the bike that I don’t understand. Tomorrow we have some new things to try, including a new fork, and I will just keep on working steadily.”

Daniele Romagnoli – Team Manager
“Today we started with Jorge at what is a very different track to Valencia, so we began with a base set-up from Yamaha while he got a feel for the bike on this track. He is starting to learn and understand more all the time about the MotoGP bike but he needs to improve some things and one of the things he’s concentrating on is braking deeper into the corner. He doesn’t have the best feeling going into the corner at the moment; he’s got some lack of grip and he’s not 100% comfortable and so we’ve been trying some different engine braking settings to try to improve this. We already have some plans about how to improve the package for him but unfortunately the rain stopped us today and so tomorrow we will start again and see where we get to.”

Masahiko Nakajima – Fiat Yamaha Team Director
“Unfortunately we were only able to test for three hours today so we couldn’t do very much. There are two main aims for this test; the first is to help Jorge become fully accustomed to a four-stroke bike, especially in relation to the engine braking character, which is very different to what he’s used to on a two-stroke. The second thing he has to get used to and understand quickly is the carbon brakes, which are very different to the steel discs he has been using in 250. These are two major factors for the rider to understand and they also influence the entry into the corner, so he has a lot to learn in these two areas. Once he has overcome these factors then we are confident he will quickly be able to develop in other areas so this is where we’re focused for these three days.”

Unofficial Lap Times
1. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 2’03.033
2. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 2’03.357
3. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 2’03.406
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 2’03.607
5. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 2’03.748
6. Anthony West (Kawasaki) 2’04.068
7. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2’04.164
8. John Hopkins (Kawasaki) 2’04.316
9. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’04.433
10. James Toseland (Yamaha) 2’05.438
 

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JT... as expected... Jr must be happy... :crash
 

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oops... :crash

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Toseland rues rain at Sepang test

By Glenn FreemanThursday, November 15th 2007, 15:04 GMT
James Toseland was disappointed to miss out on any significant running on Thursday afternoon at Sepang due to rain at the Malaysian track.
The reigning World Superbike champion had his first day riding the 800cc Yamaha M1 for the Tech 3 team, but his running was limited by the conditions and he was the slowest of the MotoGP riders at the end of the day.
The British rider also had a low-speed fall at Turn 1 early in the day, but he is confident that the remainder of the test will be better.
"It's a bit disappointing that the rain came along," said Toseland. "I need a lot of time and this has spoilt it.
"Everything is new for me; the bike, the team, and the tyres. It's a big difference to a Superbike, the limits are much further forward.
"However, at the moment we are working well, and we have three days here to test."
Toseland's new teammate Colin Edwards, who is Yamaha's most senior rider at the test in the absence of Valentino Rossi, spent some time out on track trying to help the MotoGP rookie.
"I thought I'd help James out a little, going in front of him and letting him follow for a while," said the American.
"He's got a lot to get used to, so I thought I'd get him ahead of the game. He's doing good."
 

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No new Kawi for 2008... :corn


Hopkins fastest, no 'new' Kawasaki.

Friday, 16th November 2007

New Kawasaki signing John Hopkins was the fastest rider on day two of the Sepang test, with a bike he says is 'night and day different' to his former Suzuki ride.

Hopkins, eighth on day one, used a late lap to edge out former team-mate Chris Vermeulen by 0.144secs at the conclusion of the second day in Malaysia, with day one leader Randy de Puniet demoted to a still impressive third for Honda LCR.

Testing was delayed by morning rain, but the track was sufficiently dry by midday and testing then continued non-stop until 6pm.

Hopkins' lap time was inside the best set by a Kawasaki or Suzuki rider during last month's Malaysian Grand Prix, and just a tenth shy of Casey Stoner's lap record. Off track, the #21 also shed some light on Kawasaki's plans for 2008 - and revealed that there will be no 'new' machine.

Instead, Team Green is opting for a process of continual development to the respected 2007 model - which scored a best finish of second - with a constant flow of new parts due to appear between now and the Qatar season opener on March 9.

"The way that we're managing it is that we're going to start with the '07 bike - we're not bringing out a completely new '08 bike," Hopkins told Crash.net. "What we're doing is to keep improving on what we have now and get new parts throughout the winter. So we'll always have new parts to test, but there won't be a completely different bike [launched next year] or anything like that."

And that process of continual improvement has already begun.

"The parts that I've received so far were completely new," Hopper revealed. "I asked for some new clutch parts and similar things after riding the bike for the first time at Valencia, just to help get into the corners better and smoothen everything up a little. Those new parts were here [at Sepang] and were exactly what I wanted, which is amazing in such a short amount of time."

Hopkins had been a Suzuki grand prix rider for five years, having joined the factory team in 2003 - the second year in MotoGP for both the Anglo-American and the GSV-R. Kawasaki's grand prix machine, like the GSV-R, uses Bridgestone tyres, but Hopkins says they have little else in common.

"The bikes are definitely night and day different, from Suzuki to Kawasaki," he declared. "There are some negatives and some positives with the Kawasaki, but by the end of testing I'm quite confident that we'll turn the negatives into positives.

"The Kawasaki engine is definitely very fast," he continued. "The ultimate goal is to make the power manageable. Right now we're getting a lot of wheelies and - coming out of the corners - the traction control system does work very, very well, but there are a lot of places where we can make the power more manageable."

Hopkins arrives at Kawasaki fresh from his best ever season in MotoGP, during which he took his first four podiums and fourth overall in the final world championship standings - and wants even more with the ZX-RR.

"Last year was good, by far my best season yet," he said. "I got a couple of podiums but I was a little disappointed not to get my first win. Over the championship I made a few mistakes, crashed out in Jerez, and there were a few places where I lost quite a lot of points, but I still managed to salvage fourth place. Now it's a new step, new bike and hopefully we can take it to a new all-time high next year.

"I'm enjoying it. The team's great, the atmosphere is good and they are really dedicated towards improving the machine and taking everything forward. We share the same vision," he concluded.
 

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Sepang MotoGP test times - Friday.

Friday, 16th November 2007

Preparations for the 2008 MotoGP season continued on Friday with the second day of a three-day test session at Sepang in Malaysia...

1. John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 2min 2.200 secs
2. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 2min 2.344 secs
3. Randy de Puniet FRA Honda LCR (M) 2min 2.550 secs
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot (M) 2min 2.591 secs
5. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 2min 2.698 secs
6. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 2min 2.800 secs
7. Colin Edwards USA Yamaha Tech 3 (M) 2min 2.831 secs
8. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 2min 3.093 secs
9. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 2min 4.021 secs
10. James Toseland GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (M) 2min 4.278 secs
 

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I hope Hopper can get the kwak straightened out. I think it would be awesome to see him finishing on the podium every race. I also like seeing CE finishing above Lorenzo again. I hope he continues that through the entire season.
 

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The update from Yamaha Racing - CE is still the top Yamaha Rider in Vals absence....I wonder if someone is thinking they made a mistake putting him on Tech 3.

News Sepang, Malaysia 16/11/2007 Lorenzo makes steady progress in Sepang


The Fiat Yamaha Team completed an intense second day of testing in Malaysia with 2008 rider Jorge Lorezo today, despite a wet track first thing delaying the start of action until after midday. Heavy rain overnight and an overcast sky throughout the morning meant the Sepang track took a long time to dry out but, once the sun finally shone through the clouds, the temperature quickly rose into the low 30s, the asphalt dried and work got underway.

Lorenzo continued to work on general set-up with his new team, concentrating specifically on improving his braking and also completing a few laps on the new 2008 prototype M1. He improved on his time from yesterday, completing 48 laps and setting the 10th fastest lap of the day in a time of 2’04.021, with the quickest lap of the day set by John Hopkins in a time of 2’02.200. Tomorrow will see the team complete one final day of testing before they head home to Europe.

Jorge Lorenzo (10th, 2’04.021, 48 Laps)
“Today was hard work and I am honestly quite tired after six hours of riding in this heat! We worked on a lot of new things with the setting and I feel like I am making progress in some areas. I’m still having trouble under braking though and I don’t feel so comfortable with the front end; we made some improvements today in this area but I know we have more to do and I still have a lot to learn and some changes to make to my riding style. I was able to do a few laps on the new 2008 bike today, which I enjoyed and, even though it was only a few laps, my feeling about it is quite good. The most important thing at the moment though is to improve the feeling with the front end and so we will try again tomorrow! I hope that we have a completely dry day so we can use all of the testing time and have a good last day.”

Daniele Romagnoli – Team Manager
“When we finally got started early this afternoon Jorge was having some difficulties on the brakes and wasn’t completely comfortable in the front end. We therefore adjusted some settings and worked on giving him a better feeling so he was able to do more laps at a time. He is improving but the major factor we need to work on still is the braking. Tonight we will check some data and analyse the situation together with the rider to work out how to improve things for him tomorrow. We are making progress but we have a lot of work to do still and we hope the weather will remain dry so we can take full advantage of our final day.”

Masahiko Nakajima – Fiat Yamaha Team Director
“Today Jorge did almost six hours straight and this is a long time to be concentrating and riding in this heat, so I think he’s a little bit tired tonight! We had the time to try many things today and it seems that we’ve found a good direction in which to work towards the right base setting for him, so this is something positive. He also completed a few laps on the new 2008 prototype bike, just to get his initial feeling, which is quite positive. We’ve continued to work with him specifically on stability under braking and acceleration and he’s definitely making progress and improving in these important areas as he becomes more used to the bike, but there is still more work to do. The braking point is something quite progressive so we hope that tomorrow he can make the next step in this area.”

Unofficial Lap Times:
1. John Hopkins (Kawasaki) 2’02.200
2. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 2’02.344
3. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 2’02.550
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 2’02.591
5. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 2’02.698
6. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2’02.800
7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 2’02.831
8. Anthony West (Kawasaki) 2’03.093
9. Yamaha Test Team 2’03.706
10. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’04.021
11. James Toseland (Yamaha) 2’04.278
12. Yamaha Test Team 2’06.157
13. Yamaha Test Team 2’06.464
 
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