Bad weather may have cut short the opening day of testing at Sepang, but not before factory Yamaha rider Carlos Checa had completed three beneficial hours on his YZR-M1 at the futuristic looking Malaysian circuit.

Checa spent the morning continuing to develop the latest evolution of Yamaha's Deltabox frame, first introduced during the Valencia Grand Prix almost one month ago.

The thirty-one-year old compared the new design with the 2003-spec chassis alongside Yamaha test riders Norick Abe and Norihiko Fujiwara, with Checa completing 30 laps before the rain, with a best lap time of 2min 04.9secs - 1.1secs off Valentino Rossi's fastest lap from this year's Malaysian GP. Japanese riders Abe and Fujiwara continued testing on the wet track.

"I managed to get in about three hours before the rain started," confirmed Checa. "It wasn't exactly a surprise as it's been raining here at the same time in the afternoon for the past few days.

"I still had enough time to give some information to the Yamaha engineers comparing engine data between the two chassis specs I was testing and understanding where the benefits are," added the Spaniard. "I couldn't finish the day because of the rain but I'm still quite positive and found the hours we had worthwhile. It will be frustrating, however, if it rains again tomorrow."

Of note is that, as revealed by Desiree Crossman yesterday (see Globe Hopper column), former Honda crew chief Jerry Burgess is in Sepang getting to know the Fortuna outfit for which he, Valentino Rossi and three former Repsol mechanics will work next season.

Yamaha had hoped to have Rossi present at the Sepang test for his M1 debut, but this was blocked by Honda. Testing ends on Sunday.

Suzuki are also present at Sepang, where they are using Bridgestone tyres for the first time. No lap times have yet been released by the team.



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