great balls of fire: sepang preseason test – day 1

who brought the marshmallows?
w00t bitches!!! the 2008 motogp has commenced and what a drama-filled day it has been. there were several crashes that included valentino rossi imitating a fairy (literally and figuratively) and dani pedrosa hitting the deck and his bike going up in flames. most riders walked away unscathed but dani fractured his hand and will probably be out for some time (the next test is at phillip island next week). liam from speculated that the crash was caused by a rear suspension failure.

the day went to lcr honda rider, randy de puniet, with the fastest time of the day. one thing to remember about preseason testing is that it’s difficult to interpret the results. reports only the fastest time of the day and the number of laps completed. but u don’t know if the rider went out on race tires or super-soft qualifiers which dramatically skew the times. i’d like to see avg lap times with a standard deviation along with the fastest time. dropping a single fast lap using qualifiers doesn’t say anything. being consistently fast does.

Pos. Rider Bike Time Fast Lap Total Laps

1 Randy de Puniet Honda 2’01.377 65 68
Dani Pedrosa Honda 2’01.864 19 47
Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 2’02.074 47 57
Loris Capirossi Suzuki 2’02.416 53 61
Casey Stoner Ducati 2’02.457 21 36
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2’02.490 44 44
Colin Edwards Yamaha 2’02.549 17 29
Nicky Hayden Honda 2’02.558 64 85
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2’02.563 38 43
Shinya Nakano Honda 2’02.622 62 63
John Hopkins Kawasaki 2’02.628 61 62
Andrea Dovizioso Honda 2’02.783 38 52
James Toseland Yamaha 2’03.264 41 45
Alex de Angelis Honda 2’03.301 47 47
Anthony West Kawasaki 2’03.387 30 51
Olivier Jacque Kawasaki 2’03.863 39 53
Toni Elias Ducati 2’03.954 48 55
Marco Melandri Ducati 2’04.414 43 52
Niccolo Canepa Ducati 2’05.580 17 48
Sylvain Guintoli Ducati 2’06.00 17 36
Tamaki Serizawa Kawasaki 2’23.590 6 6

some interesting notes:
-the top 3 riders were probably on qualifiers. the majority of 02’s were mid to high
-capirex was probably the fastest rider on race tires. looks like he’s adapting well to the suzuki
-stoner started the day slowly but is now looking fierce
-6 out of the top 7 are on bridgestone rubber
-rossi is right behind stoner (due to tires??? edwards is behind him on michelin)
-melandri doesn’t look happy so far down the field (almost 2 s off stoner’s time)

but take these observations with a grain of salt. this is the first day on new machinery. all this is assumption and u know what they say about that… can’t wait for day 2 and the rest of the year. hope it’s not a rerun of last years tepid racing.

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