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Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden was the fastest man of the final day at the MotoGP Official Test, laying down the quickest lap of the week in the final hour of action in Jerez.
The American was, as on the opening day in southern Spain, both the man at the head of the timesheets and the rider with the most laps to his name, his fastest of which being a 1’38.848 lap over half a second under team-mate Dani Pedrosa’s pole lap from 2007 and exactly the same as his time from last November’s test.
The 2006 MotoGP World Champion was the only rider to break the 1’39 barrier on a day of mixed conditions for the 800cc competitors. The asphalt having dried late on in the afternoon after some uncharacteristic downpours, a selection of riders chose to conclude their three day excursion with a qualifying tyre run. As on day one, Hayden headed a timesheet that suggests that Michelin are still very much the qualifying tyre pacesetters at the scene of the first European MotoGP visit.
Making amends for an uncomfortable ride in yesterday’s BMW M Award, Jorge Lorenzo was back amongst the frontrunners onboard the Fiat Yamaha M1. The Spaniard was four tenths of a second slower than Hayden in a tightly-packed top six.
Fellow MotoGP rookie and long time rival Andrea Dovizioso was also turning heads with the latest episode of a productive adaptation to the premier class, putting in the third fastest lap of the day shortly after 5.15pm local time. The JiR Team Scot rider was almost inseparable from another satellite rider, LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet, who undertook his hot lap at almost exactly the same time.
Bridgestone newcomer Valentino Rossi was the highest placing rider on Japanese rubber in fifth, rivalling Hayden for industriousness at the scene of his 2007 victory. He chose against running a race simulation to round off his test, choosing instead to focus on corner entry troubles after some early problems in Spain with his factory machine.
Sixth placed James Toseland once again impressed with the satellite version of the Yamaha M1, confirming his 1’39.678 lap from day one was far from beginners luck by recording a time less than a tenth of a second outside said marker. It wasn’t all good news for the Briton, however, as he suffered a crash on his second lap of the day that caused him to miss two hours of the session undergoing x-rays on a damaged ankle, returning on crutches with damaged right ankle ligaments before taking to the track once more.
The star of the BMW M Award session yesterday, reigning World Champion Casey Stoner refused to be drawn into any late battle to top the timesheets. The Ducati Marlboro rider’s fastest lap came midway through his total of 57, and he was already packed up by the time the majority of the top ten were kitting out their bikes with qualifying tyres for a final surge. He suffered a small slide out in a repeat of last year’s final day, but without causing any injury.
Stoner was the final rider to come within a second of Hayden’s time, with Alex de Angelis, Shinya Nakano and Loris Capirossi completing the top ten.
Kawasaki’s injured representative John Hopkins rode just 18 laps of the track, limiting his work to the bare essentials. Another absentee from yesterday’s 40 minute qualifying session, Dani Pedrosa also took things easy at his home circuit.
Of the regular MotoGP field, only Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards elected against testing on day three after having completed his schedule yesterday. The Official Test now over for the premier class riders, the 125cc and 250cc competitors now take to the stage for a triumvirate of development sessions from Tuesday February 19th.

1st Nicky Hayden Honda 1’38”848
2nd Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1’39”252
3rd Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1’39”313
4th Randy de Puniet Honda 1’39”351
5th Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1’39”568

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