MotoGP teams set up for IRTA test



MotoGP teams set up for IRTA test

In preparation for their first official IRTA test of the 2003 season, several MotoGP teams have arrived at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain over the past two days. More than half of the MotoGP entry list will be present at the three-day session, with Yamaha, Suzuki, Aprilia, Kawasaki and Ducati bikes all ready to take to the track tomorrow morning alongside the 250cc machines.

The Jerez IRTA test is the first opportunity to see the 2003 versions of the MotoGP four-strokes going head-to-head, and there is already a great deal of media interest at the circuit. The Suzuki GSV-R has had radical changes over the winter period, and tests for the first time this year in Europe, as do the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR and the Ducati Desmosedici - the category's new arrivals. Alongside them, the updated Yamaha YZR-M1 and Aprilia RS Cube will undoubtedly be battling to prove their competitiveness against all the others.

Finally we're gonna see some action, with Aprilia, Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki duking it out. There's no doubt it's going to be competetive, at least b/w the top 3 or 4 riders and manufacturers. I'm gonna put some bold predictions up for the teams and riders.

(In order of fastest)

1 - Yamaha
2 - Ducati
3 - Suzuki
4 - Aprilia
5 - Kawasaki

(In order of riders)

1 - Barros
2 - Checa
3 - Capirossi
4 - Roberts
5 - Bayliss
6 - Nakano
7 - Edwards
8 - Haga
9 - Hopkins
10 - Jacque

I'm not too sure about the riders but I say the manufacturers will be about right. The only problem I have is Suzuki and Aprilia. Suzuki have been very secretive, but apparently the new GSVR has been pretty quick, and Roberts has more experience than either Edwards or Haga at Jerez so I give Suzuki the nod, just. I'm hoping that Aprilia will surprise everyone by being super - quick, but I think Suzuki are the dark horse. Just to bad the allmighty Honda isn't there to get a sense of how much these teams have knotched up the competition :)
Official times from MotoGP IRTA Test, Jerez - 21 February 2003

1. Alex Barros (BRA) Yamaha - 1 minute 42.588 seconds
2. Carlos Checa (ESP) Yamaha - 1'43.277
3. Colin Edwards (USA) Aprilia - 1'43.699
4. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Yamaha - 1'43.794
5. Marco Melandri (ITA) Yamaha - 1'43.810
6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati - 1'43.943
7. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Ducati - 1'44.125
8. Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Aprilia - 1'44.242
9. Kenny Roberts (USA) Suzuki - 1'44.558
10. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki - 1'44.652

Interesting, very Interesting. Make a note here that yamaha showed up with a prototype machine which boasts twin rear-suspension and an inverted swingarm. Aparlenty, that suits the other yamaha team very well. Edwards looking good on his Aprilia :) Haga for some reason can't fly like he does in world superbike. And once again suzuki hypes up but still falters to my expectations. I don't know what to think of my Ducatis yet :unsure:
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