Today the full complement of MotoGP riders roared back into action for the first time in 2010 at Sepang, after a first day exclusively available to test riders, who performed ‘shakedown’ sessions on their machines yesterday. It was a positive start for the two Ducati Marlboro Team riders, who were 2nd and 7th fastest respectively.
Stoner, who expressed his satisfaction with the new engine, was quickly on the pace and then focused on the set-up of his bike trying to solve a problem of chatter. Hayden, who was also testing a new fairing today, set a good pace but struggled with the same problem as his team-mate. The pair are now looking forward to working more on the base settings of the GP10 and are confident of improving it tomorrow.
Weather-wise it was a demanding day for all of the riders, with ambient temperatures reaching 40°C and the thermometer hitting 60°C on the track. Around fifteen minutes before the scheduled end of the test, a light rain shower brought it to an early conclusion. The track will be open again tomorrow from 9am to 5pm for the second and final day of the test.
Casey Stoner Speaks… 2nd fastest 2’01.902 (42 laps)
"This first day was a bit difficult to understand: we started off with a setting that was quite good and that allowed us to make reasonably good lap times. We thought we would improve as the day went on but we had a few problems with chatter. We tried a lot of different combinations trying to make the bike feel a little bit better but we couldn’t really get an improvement. To be honest it was difficult to work out why because the track conditions were particularly difficult – it was so hot that it was actually hard to understand if you were make an improvement on the bike or not. In any case I’m really happy with the new engine, I think that with the other one we would have struggled more. Now the bike in general feel very good, very balanced and I’m happy with it. Hopefully the weather will be a little cooler tomorrow so that we can understand better if the changes we try are the right ones".
Nicky Hayden Speaks… 7th fastest 2’02.792 (59 laps)
"Overall the day was positive, sure it went quite fast actually and at the end of the day when we were ready to do some more laps the rain came and cut it a little bit short. It would be nice to have the chance to do some more laps. But overall the bike was feeling quite good. We made a couple of little tweaks that helped us but we struggle a lot for edge chatter. There’s not much testing before the start of the season so we’ve got to move fast: day one is in the bag, we have established a good starting point and we go from here".
Sepang Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2007) 2’02.108
Sepang Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2009), 2’00.518
MotoGP Sepang Test Unofficial lap times 4th February
1. Rossi (Yamaha) 2:01.411 (54 laps)
2. Stoner (Ducati) 2:01.902 (42)
3. Edwards (Yamaha) 2:01.932 (48)
4. Capirossi (Suzuki) 2:02.102 (58)
5. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2:02.165 (57)
6. Dovizioso (Honda) 2:02.630 (51)
7. Hayden (Ducati) 2:02.792 (59)
8. Pedrosa (Honda) 2:02.866 (52)
9. Kallio (Ducati) 2:02.987 (70)
10. Barbera (Ducati) 2:03.030 (59)
11. Espargaro (Ducati) 2:03.133 (54)
12. Spies (Yamaha) 2:03.142 (55)
13. De Puniet (Honda) 2:03.456 (62)
14. Bautista (Suzuki) 2:03.558 (51)
15. Simoncelli (Honda) 2:03.563 (54)
16. Melandri (Honda) 2:03.609 (28)
17. Aoyama (Honda) 2:03.651 (66)