MotoGP testing resumed to day at the Phillip Island track in Australia. And once again, the times showed up a bunch of surprises. Biggest surprise of all is the name of the fastest rider: Aboard the bike which seemed to be permanently lodged at the very tail end of the field in 2006, it was Alex Barros who set the day's fastest time, with a 1:30.6. Good tires and a great rider really can make a huge difference, as the d'Antin Ducati was absolutely nowhere last year.
Second fastest is yet another satellite rider: Marco Melandri on the Gresini Honda RC212V. Behind Melandri, the works riders were led by Loris Capirossi on the Ducati, ahead of Nicky Hayden on the Honda. Dani Pedrosa set a 5th fastest time, ahead of local hero Casey Stoner.
Even before the test had started, the Suzuki team had emphasized the fact that Phillip Island is a poor track for them, and the times today bear that out. John Hopkins is fastest, with a 1:31.8, over a second slower than Barros, and Chris Vermeulen is 2nd to last, 0.2 seconds slower. Whether this was just circumstances, or a something more serious remains to be seen over the next few days.
01- Alex Barros - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.60
02- Marco Melandri - Honda RC212V - 1:30.70
03- Loris Capirossi - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:30.70
04- Nicky Hayden - Honda RC212V - 1:31.18
05- Daniel Pedrosa - Honda RC212V - 1:31.29
06- Casey Stoner - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:31.40
07- Alex Hofmann - Ducati Desmosedici GP7 - 1:31.50
08- Carlos Checa - Honda RC212V - 1:31.80
09- John Hopkins - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:31.80
10- Kenny Roberts Jr - KR Honda KR212V - 1:31.90
11- Toni Elias - Honda RC212V - 1:32.00
12- Chris Vermeulen - Suzuki GSV-R 800cc - 1:32.00
13- Shinya Nakano - Honda RC212V - 1:32.23