Friday, May 12, 2006
Wet, wet, wet Looks like Valentino Rossi is back on top form, he was fastest in both (wet) sessions today. More to the point, he’s happier with his Yamaha M1 than he’s been in the previous three races this year.
A day’s testing after the Turkish GP seems to have if not cured then alleviated the vibration problems afflicting The Doctor’s bike. He says it was all down to mistakes made in winter testing and that rear suspension was the source of the problem. Improvements in edge grip on the brakes mean he can “feel the front for the first time”. He still hasn’t been able to race on the new, wider Michelin front tire because the extra grip it generates produces the dreaded chatter. By Turkey, every other Michelin runner was on the new design (assuming Colin Edwards did actually use it).
It looks as if the problem wasn’t down to chassis design after all but to good old fashioned settings.
One interesting deviation from the wet-weather form we saw in Turkey was the parity of Michelin and Bridgestone. In Istanbul, Michelin only had one rider in the top six – Nicky Hayden. Today Mich’ topped the charts with the ‘Stones filling the next three places.
Against the form book, Capirossi, never a lover of the wet, was second fastest in front of John Hopkins. Hopper’s Suzuki did over 205 mph in the streaming rain – a major improvement over anything the GSV- R did last year whatever the weather.
The forecast says it’ll rain again tomorrow but probably clear up for race day. That should lead to an interesting guessing game in Sunday morning warm up and an unpredictable race.