The Belgarda Yamaha Supersport team concluded the first of its winter tests at Valencia yesterday, but managed to complete only a small part of the intended programme with the new YZF-R6 as rain interrupted running.

Paolo Casoli's crash after just twelve laps on Wednesday meant that the team was not able to do as much development work as originally planned. With regular rider Jamie Whitham also not taking part in the test - due to an appointment with his knee specialist in England - Italian Gianluigi Scalvini stepped up to the plate to shoulder sole responsibility for the work.

"The new YZF-R6 has a perfect chassis and it allows me to hold incredible lines," the Italian reported, "The bike here has nearly a standard engine, but I was very happy with my times. - it's a sign that Yamaha have done a good job. My fractured wrist from earlier this season prevented me from pushing a lot harder - and, of course, I was thinking of Casoli, so I didn't want to do anything stupid."

The few laps that were completed on the new bike confirmed that the 2003 YZF-R6 has a lot of potential, as Scalvini spent most of the available time running different Pirelli tyres and suspension set-ups. However, due to the rain, he was only able to complete one hour of dry testing all day and, in the afternoon, decided to try both the new and old bikes in the wet and also made some practice starts.

"We have not succeeded in collecting all the data we wanted." explained technical director Silvano Galbusera, "We had quite a lot of lot drawbacks, but we believe the bike has a lot of potential. We will return to our base and carry on our development programme and get ready for the next tests. We are happy with what we could do and also with our first experiences with Pirelli tyres."

Fastest man over the two-day test was 26-year old Alessio Corradi, who rides for Belgarda satellite team Italy-Spadaro. Corradi posted a time of 1min 38.8secs to lie a tenth of a second under the lap record - on an old R6! He will be on the new YZF-R6 at the next test in December, but already the former European Champion is looking to be a real contender in 2003.

Casoli and Whitham should be back in action next month, and the whole team is eagerly looking forward to the next test on 19-20 December.