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2011 MotoGP Preparation

The final of two days of MotoGP testing wrapped up Wednesday at Valencia, and the man who topped the time sheets was Casey Stoner on his new ride, the Repsol Honda RC212V.

After completing 62 laps at the the Ricardo Tormo track, the Australian posted a 1:32.066. But only 0.054 of a second behind on Wednesday was Jorge Lorenzo. The 2010 MotoGP Champ posted the quickest time of 1:32.012 on Tuesday, which was the top time of the traditional two-day, post-Valencia testing session.

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MotoGP Rookie of the Year Ben Spies was third quickest during his second day on the factory Yamaha. The American was followed by two Honda riders, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda).

Many eyes were on Valentino Rossi as he tested with the Ducati Team for the second day on Wednesday. But Rossi wasn’t that quick, posting the 15th fastest time of 1:33.761 on the Ducati, 1.695 seconds off of Stoner’s time.

Here’s what the riders were saying after the final Valencia post-season tests on Wednesday:

Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha M1) says: “Basically we tried some new tires from Bridgestone today, they had quite a different feeling, but there wasn’t a big difference in general performance. We also reconfirmed the settings we tried yesterday so we’ve given Yamaha some good data to work with over the winter.”

“I’m very happy with how the test has gone; I’m quite tired so I’m looking forward to having some rest now and coming back strong to start again.”

Ben Spies (Fiat Yamaha M1) says: “We’ve had another good day and another day of learning. We messed with the bike a bit, changed some settings and went in a positive direction. So another good session working with the new crew again, I’m very happy with it.”

“I read some comments from Jorge about the new engine for next year, he seemed to be happy with the way that was going so I look forward to seeing that in Malaysia. I’m looking forward to now having a couple of months of then getting back to it!”

Toni Elias (LCR Honda RC212V) says: “Today I feel a bit tired because this bike is physically demanding compared to the Moto2. In the winter break I will train more to reinforce my muscles. However today I felt more easy-going but I am still looking for the best base set up for me.”

“My main issue was the bike balance so I could not push as I would like but I am not worried about it. I have got a lot of experience on these bikes and I know it takes time to adapt. The best way to improve my feeling on this machine is to work hard together with the Team.”

Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki GSV-R) says: “Today has been another good day because after testing the new forks yesterday and getting a good base setting, I was able to go straight out and improve my lap-time.”

“We continued through the day to test other stuff and I tried a new frame with new specifications, and I quickly felt it was much better than the old one. That means that we have made a step forward and with it I was able to do my best time. At the end of the day I tested some new compound Bridgestone tires, there were three different styles, but I didn’t feel much difference between them all.”

“I am happy because the whole crew has done a good job today and I want to say thank-you to Suzuki because I think we made steps forward at this test and with the data from here I hope they can bring me some more new and better stuff from Japan for the test in February.”

Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1) says: “I feel pretty tired now after six days of riding but this test has been very positive and we have gained a lot of good information about next year’s bike. I was able to confirm a few things we found out yesterday and the 2011 bike has a lot of potential.”

“The chassis and engine are a definite step forward and we can look forward to next year with a lot of optimism. I want to thank my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for their fantastic effort and support again this year.”

“I’m now looking forward to the winter break, spending a bit of time relaxing before training hard and getting ready for 2011 when we get back on the bike at Sepang in early February.”

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1) says: “I am really happy with the way today went. To finish with a consistent pace and feeling much more comfortable on the bike, I am already excited about being back on track in Malaysia.”

“Obviously I’ve got so much to learn and I’d say the biggest challenge is learning how hard you can push the Bridgestone tires. They are completely different to what I am used to but I am making progress, pushing without taking too many risks at this stage. There’s no doubt that the pace in MotoGP is unbelievable and you have to push to your maximum on every single lap.”

“To be less than 1.5s off Stoner at my first proper test is a real boost for my confidence and I was able to do a lot of laps in the 1.33 bracket, which was race pace last weekend. I feel really at home in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and together I think we can look forward to a positive 2011.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP11) says: “That’s it – the season is finally over! Today was a positive day for us. We tried the screamer and it wasn’t easy to switch between engines but it was important to do a proper test on them both and get the data we need to make an important decision.”

“I am leaning towards sticking with the big bang but we will make the decision together. In general I am happy because we have been pretty quick. We know there is a lot of work to do but we are ready to get on with it. We tried a new Bridgestone, which I liked a lot and actually I did my fastest time on it.”

“I also went well on the race tire we used on Sunday and we were just a couple of tenths off my best. We tested some other things that I liked but we need to test them more. I want to thank everybody in the team because they did a great job as always even though it wasn’t easy, coming on the back of two races.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: “The test was positive because, even if I couldn’t do long runs due to my physical condition, my lap times were quite good and I could have a clear idea about what we liked and what we need to change to make a step forward.”

“We tested the new prototype machine again and it has some good points that can help us to move forward and also some other areas I didn’t like so much, but it’s not a completely different bike and this is what I asked for, so I’m happy about that. This test was planned to work basically on the chassis and engine; we improved the braking – the bike is more stable – but the engine is still too aggressive from my point of view.”

“We are looking forward to the Sepang test where we can put all the things we liked together, and also do some testing with the new suspension that I haven’t tried yet, with the target of achieving better grip and braking power. I also tested two different spec Bridgestone tires and they worked well.”

“In general I’m satisfied with the work we have done because I’ve been suffering a lot during the whole weekend with my shoulder, but even in spite of this I could give good information to the team for the next test in February. Tomorrow I will go to the doctor again to have a CAT, an MRI and vascular tests to find out what’s wrong with my shoulder. I don’t know yet if I will need more surgery, but if it’s necessary I will do it.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: “I’m happy with the material that Honda brought here and today we worked on the electronics, such as traction control and engine braking and made some decent progress.”

“Honda brought here a lot of new material, so we shared the work among the factory riders and I focused on testing electronics controls, although I also tested a slightly different chassis. We also tested the new suspension from Ohlins – the next evolution of the items we tested in Brno in August.”

“They worked well and I had a positive feeling with them. We still need to improve the stability under braking and this is an area we will continue to focus on for the future. This morning I woke up with fever and this complicated the day.”

“Fortunately this morning I was feeling ok so I tested everything that was scheduled. In the afternoon it became much harder because of the fever. I’m not so happy with the final lap time, and this is not the best way to finish things before the winter break, but with the fever I couldn’t do better. Overall though this was a positive test in terms of the work we got through.”

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda) says: “That was a great day. We worked a lot on a new shock and choosing the suspension for next year. We also managed to experiment with my position on the bike and did some tire tests at the end of the day. It has been a very positive test overall, we have been fast and consistent and I am delighted with it.”

“Unfortunately I have had a couple of little crashes – the first one caused by a bump and the other simply because I was leaned over too far and I crashed at 35km/h. The first one set us back but it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that I am leaving Valencia feeling extremely satisfied.”

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Gresini Honda) says: “I am really happy to have finished this second day of the test with a good feeling with the bike. I am satisfied with the work we have done, trying out different setting solutions and some different tires.”

“It has been a positive day overall. By the end I got really confident with the bike and I was able to improve my lap time from qualifying at the weekend. I feel good with the team and we are already working well together so I think that when we start working even closer at Sepang we’ll take another step forward and soon be ready to race.”

Randy De Puniet (Pramac Racing Team Ducati) says: “Also today I really enjoyed my new bike. The Ducati, as I said yesterday, it seems very suited to my riding style and I am confident that the evolution of 2011 will be even better. The release of the power of the engine is very smooth and I have good handling entering turns and this allowed me to push with confidence since the first laps.”

“I still have to improve my riding position when cornering because I am not yet in perfect harmony with the seating. The lap times are good and I think that the general impression of this first two days can be positive.”

“A pity for the slip in the last exit: probably the rear tire was still too cold and while trying to improve my best lap time I lost control of the rear and slipped in the first right-hand turn.I am anyway happy also because with the Team I found my self at ease straight away installing a good feeling and this can only help us for our adventure together.”