Friday, March 24, 2006
Wet weather in the morning meant that the afternoon session was the start of the Spanish GP proper for most teams. Valentino Rossi didn’t even bother going out on track in the first session. When things did get serious in the afternoon, Valentino was fastest, but not by much and he probably wouldn’t have been top of the table had Dani Pedrosa not lost 0.4sec in the last sector of his last lap when he came across Tamada.
Yes, the fastest Honda was the rookie Pedrosa in third followed by Melandri in sixth and Nicky Hayden in eighth.
The biggest talking point of the day was the vibration still afflicting the Yamaha. On-board TV cameras clearly showed Vale’s throttle hand shaking in the fast left handers. But apparently it was an improvement over the test here two weeks ago. “If they have the camera on then, it break the lens.” More weight over the front has gone some way to alleviating the problem but chatter you can see on TV has to be pretty horrible when you’re on the bike.
Camel Yamaha used a novel modesty board in some stops, erecting a large view-obstructing screen in front of the bike to protect it from prying cameras. Presumably some major components were being changed. Obviously not engine parts, and there would be no reason to be so secretive about suspension, so maybe frame members?
Nicky looked distinctly unhappy at the lack of traction he was experiencing but did tell me he had found a direction to work in. “Tune back in tomorrow,” was his advice. Given the uncertain state of the weather, anything could happen.