Sepang Testing, Day 1, Preliminary Results

Well, the winter is over, testing has resumed after the winter ban, and the MotoGP season is off and running. All of the teams except for Ilmor have returned to Sepang in Malaysia, as they continue to develop their bikes for the 2007 season opener in Qatar.

And the teams seem to have picked up where they left off, with very few changes. The Suzukis lead once again, with John Hopkins getting with 0.1 seconds of the lap record set by Loris Capirossi in September. Hopper heads up Suzuki team mate Chris Vermeulen, ahead of the Yamaha team mates Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. This time, it's Nicky Hayden's turn to be fastest Honda, with Dani Pedrosa, who had been fastest at earlier tests, down in 8th. Capirossi is fastest Ducati, and Randy de Puniet is the big surprise, setting a fine 7th time. So far, Kawasaki have been singularly unimpressive in testing, suffering various catastrophic failures at previous tests, and setting times much more in line with Olivier Jacque's 19th time.

What must be most worrying for Honda, though, is that most of their riders finished so far down the running order. After Pedrosa, you have to look a long way down the list to find the remainder of the RC212V fraternity, with Makoto Tamada on the Dunlop-shod M1, and Casey Stoner and the d'Antin Ducatis between the Repsol Hondas and the rest. Even more worryingly, the first Honda after Pedrosa is Kenny Roberts Jr on the first outing of Team KR's new KR212V bike.

There's still a long way to go to Qatar, but so far, the season looks like being full of suprises.

01- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 2'02.277
02- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 2'03.049
03- Valentino Rossi - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.184
04- Colin Edwards - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.337
05- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 2'03.413
06- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'03.538
07- Randy De Puniet - Kawasaki ZX-RR 800cc - 2'03.542
08- Daniel Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 2'03.620
09- Makoto Tamada - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'03.785
10- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'03.944
11- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.003
12- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.011
13- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 2'04.088
14- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 2'04.101
15- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 2'04.138
16- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 2'04.270
17- Shinichi Itoh - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 2'04.641
18- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 2'04.710
19- Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki ZX-RR 800cc - 2'04.718
20- Sylvain Guintoli - Yamaha YZR M1 800cc - 2'07.403

Times taken from

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