Jerez MotoGP Test – Day 3 The Repsol Honda pairing of Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden finished the final MotoGP test of the year in first and second positions as the Spanish sun finally faded on the 2007 season. Both riders improved their lap times again today and, with the latest Michelin qualifying tires fitted, were well inside the pole position time set by Dani Pedrosa at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in March.
Pedrosa rode exclusively on the 2007 RC212V as he conducted a full day’s tire testing for Michelin. The 22-year-old Spaniard completed 72 laps gathering comparison data which the French manufacturer will use for development purposes during the winter break. The culmination of Pedrosa’s tire test was two hot laps on qualifiers with which he set the two fastest times of the day, the fastest one a scorcher that stopped the clock at 1m 38.582s.
Nicky Hayden also had a profitable final day and he too impressed on qualifiers, setting a time of 1m 38.848s on the 2008 RC212V, which was the quickest lap achieved on the new machine over the three-day test. The 2006 World Champion also completed a long run of 24 laps in order to test the durability of Michelin’s latest batch of race rubber. Hayden then clocked some quick laps with a final run on the 2007 machine and finished the test in positive mood as he heads home to America for the winter break.
2008 Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo signed off for 2007 in impressive style in Jerez today, finishing third overall and recording a best time of 1’39.464 on qualifying tires, just 0.062 seconds off the 2007 race pole position.
After a long 2007 season the teams will now enjoy some well-earned time off over Christmas before the MotoGP winter test schedule begins again on January 22 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Dani Pedrosa Fastest lap: 1m 39.562s – 72 laps “Today we focused on tire testing for Michelin and after three days I think we’ve learned some useful lessons for the winter. The HRC engineers have a lot of data to work with and can now prepare the machine for the next test sessions at the end of January. I think that we have quite a lot more work to do because we’re still some way from where we’d like to be, but the signs are quite encouraging. We have some time before the beginning of the 2008 season and there is plenty of scope for more improvements, so I hope we will use the time well. I have asked HRC for some similar things that I asked for in Valencia - plus many of the things from Valencia have been improved for this test. Now that there is some time we must focus on the areas that have not yet been improved. Today we only worked on tire testing with the 2007 machine because we have the most reference data for this. We’ve got through a lot of work and this has been a profitable final test of the year.”
Nicky Hayden Fastest lap: 1m 38.848s – 82 laps "Again it’s been positive today. We spent a big part of the day on the new RC212V and tried the machine with qualifying tires for the first time. The lap time I did was pretty good and I really didn’t expect to go that much faster than race tires, so I’m pretty happy. I also did a long run and, although that wasn’t on my favorite tire, Michelin got some useful information from the run. We also found some good tires over the three days of the test so it was positive on that front. The one slightly frustrating thing was that I rode the new machine for entire test except for the last hour today and I immediately went faster by about four tenths faster on race tires which means we’ve got a bit of talking to do. There are still a few issues to iron out with the new engine but Honda knows how to make engines so I’m confident about it. Plus the chassis on this new machine is really good and a big improvement. I guess you could say it’s been a bad year, but it’s certainly not a bad life and so we’ll come back give it everything next season. A big thanks to all the team, sponsors and everyone who’s given me support this year. I’m really excited about coming back in good shape for when things fire up again in Qatar for the night race.”
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