MotoGP Sepang 2 Test
The second official MotoGP test of 2010 was completed on Friday at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, with Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi setting the fastest time.
Rossi’s time of 2’00.271 on his M1 machine on Friday laid down the marker and was 0.247s faster than the lap which secured him pole position at the circuit for the 2009 Grand Prix. Hot on his heels were Casey Stoner (2’00.512) and the Australian’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden (2’00.703), as the duo felt the full benefit of the new Desmosedici GP10 engine. Hayden’s time was an improvement of just over 1.5s on his Thursday best lap.
Making it three Yamahas inside the top five times were Monster Yamaha Tech3 pairing Colin Edwards and Ben Spies. The former overcame electronic problems from Thursday to post a best lap of 2’00.988 on Friday – the fourth and final rider of the test to come in under the 2’01" barrier – whilst rookie Spies’ time of 2’01.014 shows that he is already finding a superb level with his M1 as he prepares for his first full season in MotoGP in 2010.
The Rizla Suzuki team tested their new GSV-R engine for the first time at this test and veteran Loris Capirossi made progressive improvements across the two days to post a 2’01.320 on Friday.
Repsol Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa were seventh and eighth fastest respectively on their RC212V machines. Dovizioso enjoyed a productive two days and on the second went round in 2’01.439, whilst Pedrosa was 0.039s behind. The Spaniard experienced a fall on Thursday and was uninjured, returning to the track later in the day and working throughout Friday as well.
Rookie Hiroshi Aoyama made impressive strides throughout the two days, with the Interwetten Honda MotoGP rider ninth in the timings with a 2’01.692 set on Friday. Fellow MotoGP debutant Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) set a best time of 2’01.732, despite having hurt his arm the previous day in a slide.
Randy de Puniet of the LCR Honda team was the final rider to break the 2’02" mark with his 2’01.980, and was followed on the timesheet by Mika Kallio who completed the highest number of laps across the two days (just over 140). Marco Melandri of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team continued to adapt to the RC212V, and rookies Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Ducati), and Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) – whose fall on Thursday had no ill effects – were all present as they amassed laps on their respective Desmosedici machines.
Another MotoGP debutant for this season, Marco Simoncelli of San Carlo Honda Gresini, suffered a crash early on Friday morning after completing just two laps, cutting short his day’s work. Simoncelli was taken to hospital as a precaution and confirmed later in the day he was uninjured.
A notable absentee from this test was Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who is still recuperating from a training accident which happened two weeks ago in which he injured his right hand.
Official MotoGP tyre supplier Bridgestone made two new tyre specifications available to all riders for this test: a medium rear compound for 2010 – which is a softer option qualifying tyre and not a race tyre – and a new front tyre compound to be used for 2011.
2010 MotoGP Test Times | Sepang 2
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 2’00.271
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 2’00.512
3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 2’00.703
4. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 2’00.988
5. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 2’01.014
6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2’01.320
7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 2’01.439
8. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 2’01.478
9. Hiroshi Aoyama (JAP) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 2’01.692
10. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2’01.732
11. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 2’01.980
12. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 2’02.078
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 2’02.080
14. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 2’02.082
15. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 2’02.367
16. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 2’03.689
The third official test of the year takes place in Qatar from March 17-19, with the MotoGP World Championship getting underway at the Losail International Circuit on April 11th.