Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards took advantage of bright sunshine and ideal ambient temperatures of 23șC to evaluate the performance of their 2005 version YZR-M1 machines, adorned in the team's stunning new livery for the first time. Having previously tested at Sepang and Phillip Island so far this year, the Catalunya circuit represents a fresh new challenge for the riders and the machine. The Spanish track's wide variety of corners, recently-laid track surface and 1047m straight, one of the longest on the MotoGP World Championship calendar, gives the team the opportunity to improve its overall package. Rossi and Edwards today worked largely on finding a good base set-up for their new machines but were both consistently amongst the fastest riders on track, and ended the day with the fifth and sixth fastest times respectively. The fastest lap of the eight-hour session was set by Max Biaggi (Honda) with a time of 1.43.158. The MotoGP Official Tests continue until Sunday, when Rossi will look to repeat his success from last year in the BMW Award, a televised 40-minute timed session which is offering the prize of a BMW Series 1 car to the fastest rider.
VALENTINO ROSSI (143.518, 73 laps)
"We're having quite a few problems finding the right set-up and I haven't had great feeling so far, especially with the front. I hope tomorrow we feel better but we need to find a solution to this problem. We have to work engine performance as well over the next two days and find out what's going wrong. Anyway, I am confident that the team will find out the way we need to go and we have two more days to get there."
COLIN EDWARDS (143.882, 72 laps)
"Catalunya is a very different style of circuit to Phillip Island and we were able to evaluate some different things with the new bike, although the actual material we had available was the same as the past tests. The long straight here has shown that we're probably a little bit down on top speed at the moment but we're making up for that everywhere else so I'm pretty happy with how things are going. The grip isn't the best at the moment with the new surface but it just needs a while to bake and I imagine it will be much better by the time the race comes around here in June."
DAVIDE BRIVIO TEAM DIRECTOR
"This is a new track for us with the 2005 bike so it's the perfect opportunity for us to test out a few different things. Colin tested a lot of tyres again for Michelin and he rode smoothly throughout the day without too many problems. However, Valentino is still not completely happy with the bike and he is having some problems with the front end. Hopefully tomorrow we can work to find some solutions for him. In general it was a typical first day of tests."