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GP Week : Issue 81
Pedrosa adds top time for triple success STILL complaining about his Honda handling bothers, resurgent Dani Pedrosa added another notch to the bedpost at Jerez, topping the time- sheets in post-race tests. Dani had qualified on pole, set a new lap record in a race he led for all but the last half-lap, and now finished narrowly ahead of Rossi and a close pack of fast men, in one of only two mid-season test opportunities. Dani also crashed at the tests, as did Rossi. But the Italian's tumble was at low speed, while Pedrosa was lucky to escape injury, falling at speed at Turn Ten. Pedrosa's top time was 1m39.425s, 0.22 seconds slower than his pole time, but faster than his new race lap record of 1m39.371s. Times were very close, with the top seven all within half a second of the leader. Lorenzo was third, then the Hondas of de Puniet and Dovizioso, and the Ducati pairing of Stoner and Hayden. Ben Spies was next up, only half-a-tenth down, as he made up for time lost after retiring early from the race. Although this was one of only two mid- season test days, the other coming after the Brno round in August, there was not much in the way of new stuff to test for any but the Honda riders. Both Pedrosa and Dovizioso tried the latest stiffer chassis which the former had used for the race, but neither reported significant gains from a new version of the V4 engine, meant to improve mid-range power and responses. Yet another chassis for Pedrosa stayed in the back of the truck. Yamaha riders Rossi and Lorenzo also tried a different engine, design to improve the M1's top speed. Rossi thought the improvement negligible, but Lorenzo said: "The difference wasn't big, but I noticed it, so I think this is the way forward." Moto GP news >> 17