Marco Simoncelli talks day-1 MotoGP Sepang

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A new season of MotoGP began in Malaysia today. All the bikes and riders set to take part in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship went out on track at the Sepang circuit for the first day of testing before the season opener in Qatar on April 11th.

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli made the first laps with their new Honda RC212V machines. For the duo it was a first and crucial contact with a completely new bike, which is strikingly different to the RC212V of 2009.

Both riders were positive after a relatively difficult start to the day. Most of their work focused on finding the right settings as regards the rideability of the bikes, and also how to get the best power and traction combination. With track temperatures well over 50°C and the air at a stifling 32°C both riders were fairly worn out after Melandri put in 50 laps and Simoncelli 54 laps, however they both remained confident about tomorrow’s day on track.

Marco Simoncelli Speaks… ( 54 laps, best of 2′ 03″ 563 )

“It hasn’t gone at all bad today, nor has it been brilliant, but as first days go I’m quite satisfied. We tested several things trying to work out in which direction to go in and now we need to look at what we found. You could say that we’ve got a few ideas but they’re all a bit muddled up, but joking aside, I’m sure that by analysing the data we’ll be able to put the pieces together and tomorrow we’ll be able to work in the right direction. I also need to understand this bike a bit more to give the right kind of feedback. With the 250 it was easier to get results after just a few modifications but with the MotoGP bike it’s harder to find the right settings. One positive thing is that compared to the bike I tested previously the rear traction has improved, but it’s a bit harder for me on the front because I’m finding it tough to work out its limits. In any case, I’m confident about tomorrow and I’m sure that we will do much better.”

Marco Melandri Speaks… (50 laps, 2′ 03″ 609)

“Today was difficult for us and I think the only reason is that we lost a lot of time by starting off with a completely wrong setting. We worked all day in one direction and things were just getting worse, however as we worked our way backwards we realised that we were completely going the wrong way. Unfortunately when we finally started to work in another direction it began to rain so I was only able to do a single lap, but the feeling was instantly better. On a positive note we haven’t used too many tyres up today so we’ll have more to use tomorrow, as well as a much clearer idea of which way we need to work. At the end of the day I’m satisfied. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the bike is quite different from the one we tested at Valencia last year, and I continued in the way we had with the bike at that test, but it’s clear we need to go another way. It’s a shame to have lost time, but we’ll make it up tomorrow.”

Fausto Gresini Speaks…

“Everything is new and so we need to look at today as a shakedown really. It is the first time that we have been out on track with a completely new bike with a few new technical aspects that we have never used, so both the rider and the team have to understand these new components. It was hard at first, but with a lot of hard work we believe we have worked out which way to go tomorrow which is decidedly important. We’re convinced that we will go much better on the second day of testing and we can get closer to our objectives for this year of being main protagonists. I am calm, I know that I have two top riders in the team who will give their all, but everything is new, so just like all things that are new, you need a little time to get used to them.”

MotoGP Sepang Test | Day-1 on the 4th of February 2010

1. Rossi (Yamaha) 2:01.411 (54 laps)
2. Stoner (Ducati) 2:01.902 (42)
3. Edwards (Yamaha) 2:01.932 (48)
4. Capirossi (Suzuki) 2:02.102 (58)
5. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2:02.165 (57)
6. Dovizioso (Honda) 2:02.630 (51)
7. Hayden (Ducati) 2:02.792 (59)
8. Pedrosa (Honda) 2:02.866 (52)
9. Kallio (Ducati) 2:02.987 (70)
10. Barbera (Ducati) 2:03.030 (59)
11. Espargaro (Ducati) 2:03.133 (54)
12. Spies (Yamaha) 2:03.142 (55)
13. De Puniet (Honda) 2:03.456 (62)
14. Bautista (Suzuki) 2:03.558 (51)
15. Simoncelli (Honda) 2:03.563 (54)
16. Melandri (Honda) 2:03.609 (28)
17. Aoyama (Honda) 2:03.651 (66)


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