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Jan - Aug 2003 HERE

New 2004 Sportbikes!
Main Sportbike Contents
Aprilia Index
Aprilia RSV1000R & RF

Ducati Index
Ducati 998R, 998S, 998

 Ducati 999, Multistrada
Ducati Multistrada Test
Ducati 999S Test
Ducati 999R 03 Review
Ducati Classics
Foggy Petronas
Honda Index
Kawasaki Index
KTM RC8 Superbike
Suzuki GSXR Index
Yamaha YZF-R6, R1

Editorial, Bike Tests
News Features

Torque Movie Review
  with Jaime Pressly
2004 British Sportbike
   Magazine Review
Aprilia 2004 RSV1000R
   First USA test!
Ducati 2004 Multistrada

   First USA Test!
Superbike Rules
   for 2004! Spec Tires
Ducati 999S First Test!
  Supermodel/Superbike
Valentino Rossi
  Biography of a Champ.
British Sportbike mags
 
Taking over America!

Rebecca Romjin   Supermodel turns killer   on her Ducati Monster.
SBK Fast Dates Girls   
  Our offical Ducati Corse   umbrella girls at
Laguna
Paris Motorcycle Show
  Well Worth the Trip

Sportbike Pinup Calendars
2003 Calendar Review
2002 Calendar Review   Revealing Expose!

RACE COVERAGE
2004 SBK Superbike

Feb 29 Valencia ESP
Mar 28 Phillip Island AU
April 18 Misano SM
May 16 Monza Italy
May 30 Oschersleben DM
June 13 Silverstone GB
July TBA
July 11 Laguna Seca USA
July 18 LA CalendarShow
Aug 1 Brands Hatch GB
Sept 5 Assen Holland
Sept 26 Imola Italy
Oct 3 Magny-Cours F

2004 MotoGP
April 18 Welkom SA
May 2 Jerez Spain
May 16 Le Mans France
June 6 Mugello Italy
June 13 Catalunya Spain
June 26 Assen NL
July 4 Jacarepagua BR
July 18 Sachsenring D
July 25 Donington GB
Aug 22 Brno CZ
Sept 5 Estoril PR
Sept 19 Motegi JP
Oct 2 Qatar Qatar
Oct 10 Sepang Malaysia
Oct 17 Phillip Island AU
Oct 31 Valencia SP

2004 AMA Superbike
March 3-6 Daytona FL
April 2-4 CA Speedway
Apr 30-May 2 Sonoma, CA
May 14-16 Barber AL
May 21-23 Pikes Peak CO
June 4-6 Road Am, WI
June 25-27 Brainerd MN
July 9-11 Laguna, CA
July 23-25 Mid-Ohio OH
Sept3-5 Road Atlanta, GA
Sept 17-19 VIR Virgina
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FastDates.com January 2004
Page 1 • Racing & Calendar News
Superbike, MotoGP, Calendar Girls

Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship

Home of the official SBK Fast Dates & Team Ducati Corse Umbrella Girls

• Right: "Don't I know you?" 2002 SBK Fast Dates cover model
   and Aprilia MotoGP grid girl Zdenka is featured in Members Corner
• FastDates.com 1224 Ducati 999S Screensaver with Laura HERE
• FastDates.com Ducati 999S Project Superbike HERE
• FastDates.com Aprilia Tuono R Project Bike in Paddock Garage HERE
2004 Cycle World International Shows Coverage Long Beach
Rossi signs with Yamaha It was the Challenge, Not the Money
Neil Hodgsen Interview New 2003 World Superbike Champion
2004 FIM and AMA Superbike Rules revealed!
New 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike First USA track test with Janelle

New 2004 Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki 1000cc Superbikes


Their ticket to stardom? TV star Jennifer O'Dell with a Jesse James West Coast Choppers classic first appeared in the Mikuni 1998 Iron & Lace calendar, photographed by Jim Gianatsis.

Where Are They Now?
FastDates.com Calendar icons Jennifer O'Dell and Jesse James.
Jan 15th: Here's proof postive that being featured in the FastDates.com calendars is the stepping stone to boosting a model and bike builder's career on the way to fame and fortune. Pictured above was young 19 year old Los Angeles model Jennifer O'Dell with a custom bike from an up and coming bike builder named Jesse James, photographed by Jim Gianatsis for the 1998 Mikuni sponsored Iron & Lace Calendar. And where are they now, you ask?

Well, our lovely Jennifer O'Dell was just featured in a 2-page pictorial and profile in the January 2004 Playboy 50th Anniversary Issue. Along with her beautiful good looks Jennifer is staring in her third season in the syndicated action series The Lost World, which is filmed in the tropical rain forest of Australia where Jen has to wear skimpy leather bikinis all day long. You can also catch Jennifer in the romantic movie comedy Window Theory now on DVD.

And what of that guy Jesse James?


Above: Already discounted! Is Jesse's 15 minutes of fame almost over? Click for a piece of biker cult icon history.

Well the outlaw kid who was beggin' us to photograph his bikes back in 1998 for the Mikuni sponsored Iron & Lace calendar, and who spent the afternoon of our photo shoot with Jennifer chuckin' rocks and breaking glass bottles perched on the wooden posts in the photo backgound, is now the hottest celebrity custom bike builder in America. Jesse's TV show Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel has turned bad boy Jesse into a millionaire and the German iron cross bike shop logo for his shop West Coast Choppers into celebrity icons, just like Paris Hilton and her VonDutch baseball cap.

The spotlight and the money have fueled Jesse's bad boy image and reckless lifestyle even more. Jesse's onbsession centers on attitude, fast cars and bikes, and even faster women. Jesse was divorced for playing the field by his first wife a few years back, he then was remarried to porn star Jannine Lindemulder, but that marriage recently ended after just 12 months. But not before Jannine copied Jesse's full body biker tattoos, esentially ended her nude acting and modeling career. Hopefully Jannine had a good Pre Nuptual agreement before she went under the needle....



Getting in a little night time practice, our own SBK Fast Dates Calendar Angels, Miss Great Britain Nicki Lane keeps Chandi Mason under under control aboard James Toseland's 2003 season Ducati 998F02, the bike which earned james a spot on this year's factory Ducati team. See lots more of our Angels with all the top factory superbikes in large format high quality images in Members Corner.

2004 World Superbike Pre-Season Testing Kicks Off
Jan 15th, Phillip Island AU: The countdown to another new era of SBK World Superbike competition has continued apace over the winter months, with Valencia and Phillip Island playing host to some of the championship’s top teams. The most recent test, a three-day marathon completed at Phillip Island in Australia on Thursday 15 January, saw two of the main factory teams, Ducati Fila and Foggy Petronas, in attendance. With the World Superbike Championship opting for a spec tyre format, putting all riders in all classes on Pirellis, the Phillip Island test was a crucial one for all concerned. The abrasive Aussie tarmac provides the toughest test of the year for rubber, especially for the left hand side of the overworked rear tyres.

Weather conditions were most favourable in the morning sessions, and for Regis Laconi (Ducati Fila) the tests were seen as a success, with the Frenchman lapping hard on all three days, setting competitive single lap and race simulation times. Laconi’s best race long effort would have placed him on the podium in one of last year’s Phillip Island races, even without the spur of actual competition to boost his performance still further.
For his team-mate, James Toseland, the test was a generally positive one, but a heavy crash, exiting Honda corner on day two, put paid to his thoughts of completing full race simulations. He had to make allowances for three stitches on his leg, bruised and blackened fingers and a large amount of overall discomfort. Nonetheless, Toseland set a 1:34.8 lap and the young Briton is expected to be back to full fitness for the next planned SBK/Pirelli test at Valencia, from 11 to 13 February – a mere two weeks before the 2004 season kicks off at he same venue.

The unique Petronas FP-1 three-cylinder machines of 1996 World Champion Troy Corser and Chris Walker were also at Phillip Island, with both riders setting times within the 1:35 bracket, on a machine which is still to develop its full potential. A new cooling system helped the team keep the engine temperature under firmer control. Corser, one of the best development riders in the world, as well as one of the fastest in competition, experienced some chatter during the tests, but declared that the lap times were about where he expected them to be at this stage of the evolution of the technically fascinating FP-1.

As the season approaches the final line up of riders in the series now includes another pilot who has proved his global credentials time and again - Australian Garry McCoy. Now resident in Andorra, McCoy drove to the pre-Christmas SBK/Pirelli test to join his new 2004 team, NCR Ducati. Having injured his right radius in a celebrity Supermoto race a short while beforehand, McCoy completed only a handful of laps on his Ducati 999 RS but with at least one further test scheduled before he makes his competitive debut in SBK at Valencia on 29 February, he is expected to be on pace from the first outing.

The next Valencia test will see the public debut of the all-new Honda Fireblade, prepared by Ten Kate and ridden by reigning World Supersport Champion Chris Vermeulen. Other notable 2004 SBK entries include the Zongshen Chinese team, featuring experienced pilots Warwick Nowland and Piergiorgio Bontempi on Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery, plus the competitive DFX Ducati squad, featuring Steve Martin and Marco Borciani on customer 999s.

In World Supersport another year of intense competition beckons, with top class entries from Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha all preparing for another dip in the Supersport crucible.
In the Ducati camp, Lorenzo Lanzi was testing the new-to-World-Supersport 749 factory machine at Phillip Island, suffering a crash on oil on day one. His eventual best lap proved to be a 1:37.08, as he too fought against the effects of high winds in the afternoons.

In the previous Valencia tests Ten Kate Honda riders Karl Muggeridge and Broc Parkes, plus Klaffi Honda pilot Sebastien Charpentier were in attendance, setting quick lap times throughout. The Yamaha line up for 2004 will be spearheaded by Jurgen van den Goorbergh and Fabien Foret from the Belgarda team and Christian Kellner and Kevin Curtain from the Yamaha Motor Germany outfit. Suzuki’s usual dynamic duo of Stephane Chambon and Katsuaki Fujiwara will have an updated 2004 machine to compete with in Supersport.


Honda and Yamaha Kick off
2004 MotoGP Season with Tests at Sepang

January 20- 22nd, 2004, Sepang, Malaysia - The New Year saw its first MotoGP action at the Sepang Circuit today, with a packed test session at the Malaysian track bringing to an end the testing prohibition in place for the last month.The Honda MotoGP teamswere the first to start with their private tests for 3 days beginning January 20th. In contrast to the thunderous downpours that shrouded the region on the eve of the test, the Honda riders were greeted with bright sunshine on their arrival at the circuit around 9am, and began work right away to avoid the forecast afternoon drenching. With the air temperature hovering between the 30 and 35 mark throughout the day, testing is tough at this circuit for both rider and machine, but the limit-pushing extremes of this, the accommodating yet challenging circuit and the constant warm asphalt temperatures mean that testing here is vital to most team's pre-season plans.
On the first day riders did have to stop an hour early at 4pm due to light rain affecting parts of the track.

Camel Pramac Pons' Max Biaggi is a past winner at Sepang, and is no stranger to the conditions, he clocked a lap time of 2'03.47 on the first day , breaking the lap record set in the race here just three months ago. Max then proceeded to lower his his times even more in the following 2 days, recorde athe top time of the test on day 2 with a 2m 02.585s. Following him past this benchmark was Telefonica MoviStar Honda's Sete Gibernau, who set a best lap of 2'02.7, last year's runner-up keen not to be outdone in the early psychological battles.

Gibernau's new team-mate Colin Edwards continues his rapid adaptation to the RC211V, setting a 2'03.3 by the third day, with Camel Honda's Makoto Tamada enjoying the extreme track conditions to record a 2'03.5 his Bridgestone shod RCV. Nicky Hayden made his first ride of the 2004 pre-season after undergoing surgery on his thumb, and posted a 2'04.72 which dropped to 2'03.2 by day 3, whilst Tohru Ukawa rode a development machine in his new role as HRC's official test rider, clocking 2'05.66 on ay 1 and dropping to 2'03.5 on day 3.

The final day of three test days saw Sete Gibernau of Telefonica MoviStar Honda have an engine problem which threatened to do the same for him, however the Spaniard had his team put in his previous day's engine, to go on to set some fast laps during a race simulation session. Max Biaggi (Camel Honda Team) was quick once more, and began to look even more at home on the RC211V as he did more endurance tests with Michelin tyres like many of the Honda riders today. Colin Edwards (Telefonica MoviStar Honda) perhaps had done too much, as he called it a day early feeling the effects of the intensive work after a long winter break.

Max Biaggi - Day 1: 2m 03.47s. 47 laps / Day 3: 2m 02.585s. 50 laps
Day 1 - "I had a good month's rest, which we need to recharge the batteries for this pan-continental test. I like the conditions here in Malaysia, hot and humid, when you haven't got too many things to test, it's certainly good physical preparation. We are working on a single bike here, waiting for the new machines, and we are testing mainly suspension and tyres. It's good, because it will make a good comparison when the 2004 bike arrives and we test it here next month.

Day 3 - "It's been a quite good three days here in Sepang. The temperature helps a lot, it means we can play around with set-up and test many different tyres. I always felt comfortable here, and have been consistently fast, that's the main thing. I'm happy with what equipment I've got at the moment, it's definitely an improvement on what we had before, but we have to look to the future and we will hope for even more developments, because that is what it is all about. I and the team will all be trying 100 percent to do our best, so we are looking forward to continuing our work here in a couple of weeks time."

Sete Gibernau - Day 1: 2m 03.51s. 58 laps / Day 2: 2m 02.7s.
Day 1 - "I've trained well so it wasn't really a problem riding today in the heat, although obviously you have to settle into things first. My morale is so high at the moment, and it's helped today by the fact that we have already made improvements on the race record time. We worked mainly on tyres today, and with Michelin's 17" front. For the rest of the test we'll probably move on to suspension and other such things, but I'm happy with our work today.

Day 3 - "It was a very strange and difficult day. I went out with a new engine this morning and it broke almost immediately. I had the choice to put in yesterday's engine or stop, so we decided to carry on but take things easy and maybe even limit its performance slightly to not go through the same problem. I wanted to do this to try and get some new information for Michelin by doing an endurance session. The front tyres we used were a
completely new generation and initially we were in the 2'02, 2'03 level, but it dropped off. We had bad luck, but physically and mentally this is good preparation for later on in the season when things might not go so
well."

Makoto Tamada- 2m 04.00s. 41 laps / Day 3: 2m 03.2s. 76 laps
We didn't really work on tyres today as I expected, and concentrated more on the machine set-up as a whole, which showed some good results. The conditions are difficult here, but today as a whole was good, I've done my training well, so it was no problem for me at all. The rest of this test we will dedicate now to the tyres above all.

Colin Edwards - Day 1: 2m 04.72s. 51 laps / Day 3: 2m 03.3s. 38 laps
Day 1 -We were working a bit on the set-up, which isn't too different from that of Valencia to be honest, and also playing with a few different rims, working with Michelin. We've tried a lot of that before so not much new there. As for my adaptation to the new bike in these conditions, after having been in the mountains and with thin air for a month I thought I might come here a hero, but it's still too hot! As regards my adaptation, Hondas have a certain character, and whether it's Superbike or MotoGP, it's got those similar characteristics, so it's never a problem for me, just getting back into the swing.

Day 3 -"I was worried before coming here because I knew I had to do lots of laps on the 17-inch front for Michelin, which I haven't done for four years since I began working on the 16.5 with the Superbike. I think I maybe felt
a bit of the fear of change from that today. I ran a 17" all day, and the work the MotoGP guys have done on this means that it makes a big difference. I'd say I'm now at 50-50 between the two. The 17 on the Honda
makes it feel balanced and more comfortable - it's not that elsewhere it necessarily will, but I have to make my own decisions and not think about other people's preferences."

Nicky Hayden - Day 1: 2m 04.72s. 57 laps / Day 3: 2m 03.2s. 68 laps
"That was great to get back on the bike and open the throttle after what has felt like quite a time. It's good to see all the team again - exactly the same as last year so it feels real comfortable. We had a little difficulty at the start of the session but quickly resolved it and started to have fun. I had hoped to carry on more but the rain came so we packed up mid-afternoon. We've still got two days here, which is good. My hand has held up well today; feels a lil' weak but that's not surprising. A pretty good and enjoyable first day back."

Tohru Ukawa - Day 1: 2m 05.66s. 62 laps / Day 3: 2m 03.2s. 76 laps
So this is the first time for me as a test rider, which is a strange situation. I'm happy with the direction that the development bike is going, with the new engine, frame and suspension spec all looking good to me. However I wasn't happy with my lap time. The bike feels comfortable and everything, and physically I am okay, I think that just as test rider it will take time to get used to. There are still two days though, so by the last day I hope to have set a good time.

Yamaha confirms 2004 MotoGP line-up, tests at Sepang 1/24-26th
21/1/2004: Yamaha will carry out its first test of the 2004 MotoGP season this weekend with a new-look line-up. Spaniard Carlos Checa and his new team-mate, MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, will compete for the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team, Yamaha’s wholly-owned factory team. Norick Abe and Marco Melandri will ride for the Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 Team, the privately-owned French team.

Both teams will be running factory Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycles and will be running under the Altadis-Yamaha sponsorship programme. Valentino Rossi will ride in the blue of Altadis’ leading international Gauloises brand. Team-mate Checa’s Yamaha YZR-M1, on the other hand, will sport the red and silver of Altadis’ Fortuna, the market leading tobacco brand in Spain, and strongly developing internationally.

Similarly in the Tech 3 team Marco Melandri will ride in Fortuna colours with Norick Abe in Gauloises. The unusual move suits Altadis’ marketing strategy with Rossi representing their leading international brand while Checa stays linked to Fortuna for a second year. The Fortuna brand is also present on the Italian market and hence Melandri’s second year in Fortuna colours while Norick Abe is important for Gauloises in the Japanese market where the brand was recently relaunched in autumn 2003.

The four Yamaha riders will start their 2004 testing programme with three days at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia from 24 to 26 January. The test will be Valentino Rossi’s first on the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Our Annual Review for 2004
Naked and Exposed!
British Sportbike Magazines

FastDates.com rates the top 7 hard core British sportbike magazines where bikes, half naked babes and roadracing are the norm -not the exception. In England, a county the size of just California, sportbike enthusiasts are blessed with 7 major monthly sportbike magazines! - America's got just 1 monthly newspaper and 2 semi monthlies.The Brits are so successful because they cover the topics sportbike enthusiasts want to see and read about, including beautiful girls. These great British sportbike magazines are now more readily available on your favorite newstands here in America.
British Sportbike mag Review HERE



Stripped down and hard at work, lovely Laura Niles tightenes our nuts on the FastDates.com killer Tuono R Project Bike featured in Paddock Garage. You can see a lot more of our upcomming new 2005 Calendar model Laura right now in Members Corner which is free with your Membership to The Paddock Garage Meet FastDates.com Calendar Girl Laura HERE and HERE.

Build FastDates.com's $5,000 Tuono R Project Bike!
For just $3,995 we purchased a crashed but nearly immaculat, almost new 2001Mille R with just 1,500 miles on the clock. And for just about $1,000 in conversion parts we've built our own Aprilia Tuono R valued at nearly $20,000 ($17,995 plus tax & setup) at your dealer for a mere $5,000. Is this the deal of the century or what? In FastDates.com's Paddock Garage we give you a blow by blow description of what it takes to convert a Mille to a Tuono with all necessary factory part numbers, prices, and a list of sources for alternative and more readily available conversion parts. Go to: Paddock Garage


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Calendar Girl
Jaime Pressly
gets Torque'd 0ff!
And we tell you why....

Cycle World International Motorcycle Show Coverage!

Order Now. The New 2004 FastDates.com Calendars are almost gone!



Covergirls Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.


Honda Confirms
Alex Barros for
Top Factory GP Ride
Alongside Hayden
Jan 20th - Following the recent announcement by Alex Barros in Brazil that he is free to seek a new MotoGP ride for the 2004 season, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) today confirmed that the 33-year-old
Brazilian will ride alongside Nicky Hayden in the official HRC Repsol Honda Team for 2004.

Barros is making a good recovery following surgery before Christmas on a past shoulder injury and is due to ride the 2004 Honda RC211V at Sepang, = Malaysia on February 11,12 and 13 before moving down to Phillip Island, Australia on February 17,18 and 19 taking part in the official HRC Winter Testing Programme.

His new team under Crew Chief, Ramon Forcada, is working in Sepang at the moment with a view to making a flying start with Barros in the February tests. Forcada worked with Barros for two years in the West Honda Pons team in 2001 and 2002 and guided the Brazilian to two victories and two podiums in the last four races of 2002 when he was given the opportunity to ride the 4-stroke RC211V..


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FastDates.com
Calendar Girl and actress
Jaime Pressly
in February Playboy

Jan 15th - Our own FastDates.com Calendar girl and actress Jaime had her second feature pictorial and first cover of Playboy magizine in the February 2004 issue photographed by famed fashion and Sports illustrated Swimsuit Calendar photographer Patrick Demarchelier. The sexy calendar girl talked about the release of her latest movie, the biker action flick Torque which also comes out this month, featuring both extreame sportbike action, and some custom bikes from our regularly featuredcelebrity Iron & Lace Calendar custom bike builder Harold Pontarelli.

Harold provided two $60,000 custom Harelys for the movie, and was paid $2,000 per day per bike for 7 days to have the bike parked in the background on the set. His customs fared a lot better than a number of Aprilia Mille Rs which were thrashed and trashed in the movie, making a perfect starting point for a similar Tuono R Project Bike as featured on this page and in Paddock Garage.

During the long days of shooting and waiting to be on set of Torque, Jaime also sketch and designed her own lingerie and sleep wear clothining line aptly named J'aime. She also just completed co-produced and oo-stared in her own feature film Death to the Supermodel, and has landed a recurring role on the TV series Becker staring Ted Danson.

to see a lot more of beautiful Jaime visit Members Corner where we have the beggest jaime pressly photo gallery on in the known universe.


New Kylie Minigue
Kylie's hot new CD Body Language gets released in February, but you can get it right now at 21% off.
Click to score now.

Ducati Fila already
up to speed for
2004 SBK season

Jan 13-15th -Ducati's James Toseland arrived at Phillip Island's Honda corner on his nineteenth lap on the morning of day 2 of the SBK tests before highsiding at low speed. The 23-year-old British rider cut his right knee and had to have three stitches put in. He stayed off the bike the rest of the day but return again on the fianl day 3.

“I opened up coming out of Honda curve” explained James, “and the bike suddenly lost grip at the rear. It was a low-speed crash, but I’m sure I’ll be OK for tomorrow.”

In two sessions, Ducati Fila engineers have succeeded in ironing out the problems of stability that emerged during Valencia testing in November and the 999 is now at a good competitive level in view of the start of the season in six weeks’ time.

Regis Laconi completed Ducati Fila’s World Superbike pre-season test session at Phillip Island day 3 on a positive note, the Frenchman knocking half a second off yesterday’s best to end with a time of 1’33.55, which he set during the better morning conditions. Britain’s James Toseland was still feeling the effects of yesterday’s spill and his best mark over the three days remained the time of 1’34.50 he posted on Wednesday.

Laconi, who exclusively used race tyres today, added more than 450 kms to the Ducati 999’s development curve, completing a massive total of 106 laps during the final day. The 28-year-old Frenchman said: “I am quite tired but very happy! Yesterday I said I could improve my time but I didn’t think I could get down to 1’33.5. Step by step we’re working well in the team to find the settings that are helping me to ride more easier and now that I’ve reached a good feeling with the 999, I’m a lot more confident. My long-run in the afternoon went well and I was almost one second a lap quicker than my race time here last year”.

Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders test new Pirelli spec tires
Jan 15th- New rider Chris Walker felt the benefit of three more days in the seat of the FP1 at the conclusion of Foggy
PETRONAS Racing's three-day test at Phillip Island, Australia.
While testing a variety of new tyres provided by World Superbike championship manufacturers Pirelli, both he
and team-mate Troy Corser made steps towards identifying the best construction and compound for the forthcoming race season. And, with one more test remaining before the first round at Valencia at the end of February, Chris took
encouragement from the fact that he was only 0.3 seconds away from the best time of 1:35.4 set by team-mate

Troy Corser on his home circuit.
Chris said: "I went quicker today on a tyre which wasn't quite as good as the one we found yesterday. And I am also pleased that I was doing the same lap times as Troy when we were on the same tyre and the same rim. That is really encouraging, particularly at Phillip Island. I am really enjoying working with this team and have already developed a good relationship with our Pirelli representative. When he tells me the differences between tyres, I can definitely feel what he is describing. But they had so many different tyres to test out here that, once we had found the best medium-soft compound, there were not too many left to test and I had wanted to break
into the 34s.

"The team has worked to get the bike a bit more Chris Walker-like - a bit softer and looser - so that I can back it into corners and slide it out of them. I have altered my ride height to make the bike more stable on the brakes and that has helped. I jumped on the bike on Tuesday and it felt alien - nothing like the motocross bike I have been on all winter! - but it was good to quickly get it working how I like it and it gives us a clear direction for the next test."

Chief engineer Steve Thompson said: "Although we still have a lot of work to do with Pirelli in making sure we maintain our corner speed advantage, we now have a clearer idea of the type of tyre that will best suit our bike. Hopefully we will be able to put what we have learnt here into practice at next month's pre-season final test. Chris has worked very hard on the set-up of the bike with the tyres available and his attitude has been excellent. We have also had the opportunity to test a new cooling package from MB Motorsport, which has produced
significant improvements."

Troy said: "We have been trying to do a few more laps today on the tyres we have found to work best for us, but I still think there is room for improvement. We need a bit more stability as I am still experiencing a small chatter,
although I think we are going in the right direction. At this stage in the tyre development I don't think the lap times have been too bad."

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