MotoGP season getting closer
Today saw the conclusion of the Malaysia tests, with temperatures a little lower than the previous days, allowing the team to work to its full potential. As such, the Camel Honda team is now looking forward to the next session in their programme in Australia (from 17th to 19th February), where they hope to complete the first phase of work on the 2005 RC211V.
Alex Barros finished riding at around one in the afternoon after satisfactorily completing all the scheduled work with his team.
Troy Bayliss also made further big steps today, having worked hard until 4:30pm to continue his adaptation process to the Honda, and today picked out a set-up which he was happier with and which will start as a base for the team to work from in Australia.
Sito Pons – Camel Honda - “I’m really happy with the work Alex, Troy, and the team are doing. There’s a very optimistic and focused atmosphere, and the work is getting done. Troy is working so hard to adapt to a bike which is so different to the one he’s used to, and from our side the team is doing everything in its power to help adapt the RC211V to his riding style.
Alex Barros – Camel Honda - 2’01.159 (61 laps) - “I’m leaving Malaysia with a big smile, because everything has gone well, apart from having caught a bird with my right arm today, which was a little painful, but nothing.
Bayliss may ditch Honda
February 15, 2005
AUSTRALIAN MotoGP rider Troy Bayliss has threatened to abandon his obstinate Honda race bike just weeks out from this season's grand prix season.
Bayliss admits he is struggling to come to grips with the machine but his teammate Alex Barros says he is pushing too hard.
Noted for the aggressively ragged style that won him the Superbike world championship with Ducati, Bayliss cannot find a compromise with a bike that is regarded as the most rider-friendly machine in GP racing.
"There's no way I'm going to change my whole style to suit this bike and if I can't get it to work around me a little then I'll give it to someone else," Bayliss said.
"You don't just change you're style after 36 years. I can't change myself.
"At the moment the way it is the bike suits a smooth rider. It suits a GP rider more than anything because they are used to using the clutch all the time.
"Everything that Colin Edwards said last year, I'm copping it in the arse now."
Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi was sufficiently recovered to continue testing in Sepang today, after missing the middle day of this three-day test yesterday due to a throat virus. The reigning World Champion was still not feeling 100% fit, but managed to complete 35 laps, including a long run, before finishing the day early at around 4pm. His team-mate Colin Edwards continued working until a little later and ended the test pleased with the progress made and a satisfactory, if tiring, long run.
Temperatures were once again in the thirties with 66% percent humidity, making this final day of testing hot work for the World Champion and his new team-mate. The pair continued to test Michelin tyres while making small changes to the set-up of their M1 motorcycles, and both made some improvements to their lap times. Rossi finished the day fourth fastest in the unofficial standings with a best lap of 2’01.275 and Edwards, who rode 81 laps, was ninth with a best lap of 2’01.641. The first three places were filled by a trio of Honda riders, with Makoto Tamada setting a time of 2’00.955, almost a second faster than Rossi’s pole position from the 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix. The Japanese rider was followed by Max Biaggi and Alex Barros with times of 2’01.015 and 2’01.159 respectively.
The Gauloises Yamaha Team now moves on to Phillip Island, Australia, for another three days of testing. The team will again be sharing the track with teams from Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki, as well as the Fortuna Yamaha Team.
Valentino Rossi (2’01.275, 35 laps) - “Unfortunately I caught a virus yesterday and I wasn’t able to test. I felt a bit better today and this morning we did a good job. We made some good laps and a race simulation, but I started to feel tired again over the last five laps. The bike is good and I have a good feeling with it; we’ve fixed some problems and tried some new tyres. Now I need to go and get some sleep so I can be ready to test in Phillip Island.”
Colin Edwards (2’01.641, 81 laps) - “The race simulation was hard and I had to take a bit of a breather at one point. There were about six laps when I was slower than I could have been. 81 laps is a lot for one day, especially the third day of a test, but we really needed to do the long run in order to get the information. We’re still working on the new bike, but I’m feeling a lot happier and we are making progress. The bike was great all day, very consistent and the tyres that Michelin have given us are great. I’m ready to move on now to some new scenery in Australia!”
Is it weird in here, or is it just me?