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Pace hots up during second day at Sepang

Author: Honda Racing
Posted on: Monday, Jan 24 2005

Biaggi rode strongly again today despite not being 100% fit. The Italian looks motivated and happy amongst his new team, a result of which saw him slash over a second from his time of yesterday.

Hayden clocked 81 laps and knocked nearly 0.8 off his fastest time of yesterday and was relatively happy with the performance. He spent much of the day testing for Michelin and was encouraged by some of what he found.

A press conference was held today at the circuit attended by Saturo Horiike (HRC Managing Director), Tsutomu Ishii (new General Manager of HRC), Koji Nakajima (former General Manager of HRC), Makoto Tanaka (Team Manager of the Repsol Honda Team) and Kyoichi Yoshii (leader of the development team on the Honda RC211V). Before the attendant press they pledged a huge commitment to win back the rider’s world title spearheading the challenge with the two official factory riders in the Repsol Honda Team.

Max Biaggi
“There must be a mistake! I was not expecting to ride this fast right after the injury and more on the last year’s bike. We scored excellent laps even if we were not working for it. I really like the team spirit. HRC people are very motivated. Erv Kanemoto and my crew chief Hideki Iwano are collecting precious information for the new bike and I’m so happy to have two perfectionists like them on my side. Furthermore, Repsol orange really makes me want to ride.”

Nicky Hayden
“It wasn’t a bad day. We have spent a lot of time testing a bunch of new Michelins and found some stuff we really liked. Both fronts and a few rears that really seemed to give some pretty good grip levels. We looked at testing several different suspension settings with the Showa guys and basically it all went pretty well. It was nice to see some lower laps times today; not yet where I want but definitely a step in the right direction.”

Erv Kanemoto, Repsol Honda Team Technical Director
“Personally I need to get up to speed fast with the RC211V. I need to completely understand the machine and the minute effects that the changes we make to it have on the package. I am looking and learning at the moment – there is really no point my making any major changes until I have gathered much more data but I am encouraged by what we have achieved in a short time. I am under no illusions – we have a lot of work to do but we have a very strong spirit in the team and we have a big goal.”

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