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GP Week : Issue 7
M oto GP news >> REPSOL Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden were disappointed when Honda’s much-vaunted ,but still dyno-bound pneumatic- valve-spring engine, failed to make post-Estoril tests, but managed to shrug it off with first – and fourth – fastest times on Monday. Like all teams, they were confined to testing tyres and details, with nothing much new apart from new ‘pneumatic’ motors for Tech 3 Yamaha riders Toseland and Edwards, and a new chassis for Hopkins at Kawasaki, but these had already been used in anger during the race weekend. Pedrosa was top at 1:36.455, inside the lap record set the day before by Lorenzo, absent for arm surgery; but still seven tenths off his Yamaha rival’s blistering pole time. It had been a positive day nonetheless, he said, with tyre testing accomplishment. “We also did some work on the chassis and suspension to improve feel during hard braking. This aspect of performance is particularly important at Shanghai,” he said. Rossi set second-fastest time, after making further progress adapting to his new tyres – which the team sees as the key to breaking his longest-ever seven-race run without a win. “Today was all about tyres. We were able to improve rear grip and durability, and these are two key areas for us,” said team manager Davide Brivio. Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest, less than a tenth off Rossi’s time, as he continues to impress in his season debut, if slightly overshadowed by his 250 vanquisher Lorenzo. But there was no great relief for beleaguered Stoner, who placed seventh, nearly a second shy of the leader. All the same he reported progress – he’d improved on his race pace, and “made the bike a little less nervous over the bumps,” he said. Refinement only as Dani tops Estoril test 17