GP Testing at Suzuka

Repsol Honda issued the final release from the second day of testing at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan:

The reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi finished the two-day official IRTA tests at the Japanese circuit as fastest rider on both days.

With just days to go before the practice sessions for the opening 2003 race at the altered Suzuka circuit the 24-year-old four-time World Champion from Tavullia, Italy is satisfied that he is ready for the long fight ahead to retain his title.

Nicky Hayden, Rossi’s 21-year-old Repsol Honda team-mate from Owensboro, Kentucky has learnt a lot over the winter and is looking forward to start is first MotoGP next Sunday 6th April.

“I’m happy after the two days of test here,” Rossi said. “We’ve been concentrating on a good race set-up and I’m satisfied with the results. This will be a very hard year for everybody because there are so many riders who will want to fight for the win. I think it will be a great season for everyone who loves racing. Every race will be a battle. We have a couple of days rest here in Japan and after that we go – we are ready for the season”!

“I’ve had an enjoyable couple of days here,” Hayden said. “If I think back to my first experience on the 5-cylinder RC211V here at Suzuka at the back end of last year I’m happy because I’ve knocked a load of time off the laps and I’m feeling so much more comfortable and confident on the bike. The team’s working well and I’m feeling really positive about my first MotoGP race.”

Combined Test Times:

1. Valentino Rossi (2:04.170)

2. Tohru Ukawa (2:04.359)

3. Max Biaggi (2:04.567)

4. Alex Barros (2:04.605)

5. Sete Gibernau (2:04.616)

6. Daijiro Kato (2:04.629)

7. Colin Edwards (2:04.846)

8. Loris Capirossi (2:04.889)

9. Carlos Checa (2:04.908)

10. Noriyuki Haga (2:05.193)
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George Obradovich
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