Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso topped the timesheets today as the MotoGP teams returned to the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona for a day’s testing. After coming within millimeters of securing his first podium for Repsol Honda in yesterday’s Grand Prix of Catalunya here, the Italian and his crew made full use of the track time to test the latest developments of the factory RC212V.
Dovizioso, who lies fourth in the World Championship standings, lapped consistently fast, with a best time of 1m 42.230s – comfortably quicker than the fastest lap from yesterday’s race (Casey Stoner: 1m 42 858s) and also inside the existing lap record of 1m 42.358s set by Dovizioso’s Repsol Honda team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, in the 2008 race here.
Pedrosa did not take part in today’s test. His pain-defying efforts at the weekend left him exhausted following yesterday’s 25-lap race and it was decided that he should take some well-deserved rest at home ahead of the next race at Assen in just under two weeks’ time.
The Repsol Honda Team will now return to its Belgium base before preparing for the forthcoming back-to-back races: first the Dutch TT and then the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, California.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 1st – 1m 42.230s
“I’m really happy with the test today and with the pace we were able to achieve. The modified chassis we tested gave very positive feedback straight away so I used it for most of the day. One of the main improvements in feeling was in the entry to the corner which is a very important plus point because that’s one of the main areas where we’ve been looking to make progress. We also performed some tests on other aspects of the set-up and all-in-all the results were promising. In the race yesterday we were very close to the podium, and also quite close to the leaders after a dry race run in very demanding conditions, so we’re heading in the right direction. I know Honda is working really hard to give us a machine to win races, and today has given us a lot of positive signals, so thanks to them – and to my team who have also been working very hard this weekend. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back out on track in Assen.”
KAZUHIKO YAMANO – REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
“Today was a useful day’s testing for Repsol Honda and we’re satisfied with the progress we made. Andrea was able to set the fastest lap of the day and go quicker than the race pace yesterday so this is a promising sign for the whole team. As well as the good lap time, we’ve also collected a lot of information that we can use to develop the machine, because we’re not finished yet. Testing opportunities are limited this year, so it’s important we make maximum use of this one.”
Official lap times
1. Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 1:42.230
2. Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 1:42.434
3. Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 1:42.446
4. Mika Kallio Pramac Racing Team 1:42.637
5. Casey Stoner Marlboro Ducati 1:42.763
6. Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 1:43.188
7. Randy De Puniet Playboy LCR Honda 1:43.247
8. Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1:43.299
9. Alex De Angelis San Carlo Honda 1:43.360
10. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Racing Team 1:43.391
11. Marcp Melandri Hayate Racing Team 1:43.506
12. Toni Elias San Carlo Honda 1:43.708
13. Sete Gibernau Guinea Ecuatorial 1:43.819
14. Nicky Hayden Marlboro Ducati 1:44.157
15. Gabor Talmacsi Scott Racing Team 1:45.056