Philip Island: Rider Alex Barros caused something of a surprise on the first day of MotoGP testing at the Philip Island circuit in Australia on Tuesday. The 36-year-old Brazilian topped the timesheets for his new Pramac d'Antin Ducati team. His time of one minute, 30.60 seconds was just 0.3 seconds outside the all-time race record, set by Marco Melandri on a 990cc Honda in 2005 - Melandri himself was second-quickest, one-tenth back. Melandri had to share second place with Loris Capirossi, with the new world champion Nicky Hayden fourth, nearly six-tenths off the pace. The 25-year-old Repsol Honda rider from Kentucky said he felt happier on the more twisty Philip Island track than he did at Sepang in Malaysia last week, but knows that there is still a lot of work to do if he and his team are to hit the new season in top form. On the first of three days of intensive testing in Australia, the notable absentees were the Yamaha factory and Tech 3 teams, including Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards, Makoto Tamada and Sylvain Guintoli, plus Kawasaki's French duo of Randy de Puniet and Olivier Jacque. The teams that have made the journey to Australia will be back on track on Wednesday for the second of three days at Phillip Island, as the build-up to official testing at Jerez on February 25 continues.
Topics : Formula 1