Day 2 of Rainy Jerez Honda Testing

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander

HRC Winter Test Jerez, December 10, 2002.

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly on Jerez

The HRC winter test at Jerez, in Southern Spain, continued in inclement weather on the second day of the planned three-day test. Rain prevented serious work in the morning and, although it eased off in the afternoon the lack of sunshine saw the track develop half-dry - half-wet conditions for the four HRC riders to contend with.

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi did not participate on day one of the test but took his RC211V Honda out onto the damp 4.423km track today, for nine laps.

"Unfortunately the weather is not good, the track conditions are very tricky. I asked the mechanics if I could take the bike out, even though I had nothing to test, I have not sat on my bike since the last race. But it was not much fun; the track surface was just too wet to enjoy it. I really hope we can get some dry time tomorrow." Said the World Champion.

American Superbike Champion Nicky Hayden ha to test. The 21-year old Kentuckian has no experience of the RC211V four-stroke in wet conditions, nor the Michelin tyres he will use in his debut season at MotoGP level in 2003.

Hayden, who completed 47 bone chilling laps of Jerez said: "For me everything has been positive today. I need to get as many laps in under wet conditions as I can; I need to be able to have a good feeling with the bike in the wet. Any experience I can gain here will help me in races." "I have only the Superbike to compare the RCV with but the RCV feels much more precise than the Superbike in the wet. Even though it is much more powerful than the Superbike, this bike is easier to control. I am beginning to get a very good feeling from it."

Gresini Honda rider Daijiro Kato continued his testing programme. With no dry time to undertake test on the parts they came to Jerez to try out, Kato concentrated his time on wet weather set up.

Kato said. "The rain is not all bad. I had some problems in the wet last season and it's good to be able to test the bike in these conditions. The four-stroke is heavier than the NSR and the tyres have a different feel. It's hard to move around. I'm working on my strength to help this. So we can say the test turned out OK for me. But I hope its dry tomorrow so we can test what we need to test. "

Tohru Ukawa, the most experienced RC211V rider, was not at all disappointed by the weather and used the conditions to his best possible advantage. Ukawa is more at home in wet conditions than the majority of his rivals, and although he did not revel in the conditions he was happy at the end off the day.

"The weather is obviously not what we wanted and the lap times are not good but I'm happy with what we have done so far. At the very least we have found a really good wet set up. We have not done all we wanted to but we have tomorrow, and I hope its dry. But really we learned a lot about the RCV in the wet." Ukawa commented.

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