Philip Island test
Biaggi takes it the max.
As the three day Philip Island test finished it was the Roman Empress Max Biaggi, who recently topped our poll for the biggest whinger in motorcycling*, who ended top of the timesheets.
"Equal machinery" said a jubilant Biaggi. "That all I've ever asked for. And as you can see from my time that's exactly what I had. You can also see from my time that I was much faster than that Farmboy Hayden."
In was a good final day in general for Honda as they occupied the top four positions of the timing sheets.
It was another good day at the office for the Texas Turncoat Colin Edwards who finished the session second fastest. But in a cruel twist of fate his excellent show of speed might prove his downfall as it's rumoured that HRC aren't pleased with the way he keeps beating their number one rider, tractor-fan Hayden, despite riding a far lower spec machine.
"I don't know what to think" said the Texas Windbag "I've heard that HRC are thinking of sending a member of their technical staff around to bash off one or two cylinders with a big stick to help slow me down a touch. I don't know if this is true, but even if it is I'll still beat the cotton-picker. Hell, I could even beat him on a Petronas."
It wasn't such a good day for defending world champion Valentino Rossi who struggled to get used to the Yamaha and the fact his bike appears to have the engine characteristics of an electric wheelchair.
"Eez a viry slow biyk" commented the Italian 2004 back marker. "I tink eye av mid a viry beeg mis-takeh"
Rossi's glory seeking bike cleaner, Jeremy Burgess, was also bemused by progress avoided by Yamaha. "It's like bloody bashing my bonse against a brick wall" said the boomerang hurler "We desperately need more power, so what do Yamaha do about it? They bring some custom dust caps and introduce a new Thai menu in the canteen. That's what."
Not everyone at Yamaha was as critical though. "I don't know what Jeremy's beef is." said one mechanic "The new Thai menu is superb. I had a Thai red curry with jasmine rice for my dinner and it was delightful. Just 'cos he was brought up on wombat burgers and eucalyptus doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer."
Over at team Ragu there were mixed feeling about the testing. Smallster Loris Capirossi finished the final day in seventh position on the Ducati, behind all the Honda's and Rossi, despite finishing top at the end of the second day's test.
"The bike was good." explained the wee-lad "Just not as good as the Honda. But today wasn't really about setting the fastest times, it was more about getting some wheelie and powerslide practice in. I was fantastic, although Troy was a bit rubbish. I think maybe he's scared of grazing his knee or something."
There were frowns too in Satellite Pasta Team as it dawned on the mechanics just how many rebuilds of Xaus' bike will be necessary in the upcoming season. The crash happy Xaus showed everyone that he means business by having a huge off on the second day and had to be airlifted to hospital. After a precursory scan the doctors confirmed that Ruben had suffered no head injuries and was just as barmy as ever.
* Edging out the previously unbeaten champion (C.Fogarty).