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Honda riders try 2010 bike

Sunday's Valencian Grand Prix winner Dani Pedrosa and Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso got their first taste of the 2010 version of the RC212V, as post-season testing began at the Spanish circuit on Monday.

The new bike features a brand new chassis and swing arm, plus the latest evolution V4 engine. The machine incorporates some subtle geometry changes and different stiffness characteristics designed to enhance agility and handling.

Pedrosa's programme included further evaluation of the Ohlins suspension he sampled briefly in the single-day test that followed the Czech Grand Prix in August, and he was able to set a lap time of 1min 33.088sec.

That was just three-tenths outside his best time from yesterday, which was also the fastest lap of the race, and he finished the day fourth on the timesheets, 0.428sec behind pace setter Casey Stoner (Ducati).

“We tested with the new 2010 bike today and also used Ohlins suspension,” confirmed Dani, who has been on Showa for his entire grand prix career. “The key thing was to begin getting used to the new suspension because the feelings are quite different and we need some time to find the set-up for the new chassis.

“We didn't do so many laps this afternoon [31] because, with this kind of testing, you spend quite a lot of time in the box. The feeling from the chassis was quite similar today - it's the suspension that really feels different, and I think this is normal when you make a change like this.

“The initial feeling is positive and we'll come back tomorrow and get back down to work,” he concluded.

Dovizioso, like Pedrosa, rode exclusively with the new machine, and was able to improve on his best lap from yesterday's race by more than 0.3sec as he claimed seventh on the timesheets.

“Today we tried the 2010 machine with the new chassis and swing arm,” began the Italian, who switched to Ohlins shortly after the Brno test. “It's very early days of course, but the first impression is positive and the feeling is that we are working in a good direction.

“The weight distribution is different in order to improve the stability of the machine under braking and to better suit the Bridgestone tyres. We have two more days of testing here, and tomorrow we have the whole day to continue evaluating the new machine.”




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