For the second consecutive day MotoGP testing at Sepang ,a Repsol Honda set the fastest lap. The only difference Wednesday was that Dani Pedrosa piloted the Honda RC212V, the Spaniard posting a 2:00.770.
But only 0.664 seconds behind was Pedrosa’s MotoGP teammate and Tuesday’s fastest rider, Casey Stoner. Third quickest at the second of three days of testing at Sepang was the American Ben Spies on the factory Yamaha M1. As for Valentino Rossi, he was 13th fastest aboard the Ducati Team GP11.
Pedrosa, who continues to recover from a broken collarbone, posted the time on his fourth lap while using a RC212V from the 2010 MotoGP season. The lap time also became the quickest lap ever set at the Malaysian circuit.
After switching to the newer-model RC212V about halfway through the 39 laps he completed at the MotoGP session, Pedrosa tested some new parts, with a focus on the 2011 engine; Pedrosa reported the engine had "superior" power output at high rpms.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda MotoGP) says: "I think it’s the first time I’ve ridden so fast on this track, but you’re just fresh in the morning and I did four very good first laps. I was not looking for a time, but I saw that the track conditions were good and I pushed.
"The closer you get to the limit, the clearer the changes you are doing on the bike become, which leads you in the right direction. Today I tried the new engine, which has improved from Valencia, some chassis configurations and rear shocks.
"Tomorrow the plan is to continue comparing both bikes and it would be great to come away with the chassis and engine decided for the next test."
Pedrosa also used older forks, and so did Stoner. The Australian posted the second quickest time while comparing the two MotoGP chassis available.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda MotoGP) says: "Yesterday we really didn’t expect the best time, today we expected a bigger difference with the soft tire – but with the chassis we chose we just couldn’t get the best out of the tire.
"Tomorrow maybe we can focus a little more to compare the chassis again and then see which direction to go from there. We’ve got a few other small things here and there but they can wait until the next test. Now I’m starting to understand the bike a bit better and when I ride it, it feels more like home."
The only Yamaha in the top six amid the Hondas was the M1 piloted by Ben Spies. The 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year was second fastest for a most of the day, until losing the position to Stoner at the very end of the day.
Throughout the 60 laps he completed, Spies worked on engine tuning, and continued to adapt to his new team.
Ben Spies (Yamaha MotoGP) says: "Today went really well. We started out and got right up to speed. We worked pretty much just on electronics and also evaluated a couple of different engine configurations, both of which worked really well.
"The lap times were pretty similar so we need to work out which direction we want to go. We got a lot accomplished today, tomorrow we’ve got a couple more things on the engine to look at and we’re going to try some tires for Bridgestone."
The third Repsol Honda, Andrea Dovizioso, began getting a feeling for his RC212V, and bettered his Tuesday times. Unlike Pedrosa and Stoner, the Italian MotoGP rider didn’t work with the old forks and tested a new option.
The San Carlo Honda Gresini team of Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama placed their Honda MotoGP prototypes in the fifth and sixth positions.
The reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo was seventh fastest, posting a time 0.793 behind Pedrosa. The Spaniard worked with a new M1 chassis on Wednesday, which he hopes to have modified before the last official test at Sepang in three-weeks time.
Rounding out the top 10 were Alvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, Colin Edwards on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 and Hector Barbara on the Aspar Team Ducati.
Rossi continued work on the GP11, and although he finished 13th fastest, which was one position slower than on Tuesday, he reported satisfaction with the progress made both on the machine and his recovering shoulder.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP11) says: "I’m happy because I was able to ride again today. I did another 42 laps, which is reassuring. Even when I work my shoulder hard, I’m finding that it doesn’t get worse, and I don’t suffer too much, to the extent that I was able to start again this morning without having lost anything compared to yesterday.
"Actually, the shoulder is even getting better as I ride, and I’m able to make the movements that are required. Obviously, it’s still a handicap, because eventually I begin to lose strength and the pain increases, but we were able to do some good, consistent work."
The Sepang test wrap up on Thursday, and riders will meet again Feb. 22-24 at the Malaysian track for the second and final test session before the MotoGP season begins on March 17 at Qatar.
|Pos||Rider||Team||Fastest lap||Prev. Gap||Lead. Gap||Laps|
|1||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.770||–||–||39|
|2||Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda Team||2:01.434||+0.664||+0.664||44|
|3||Ben Spies||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:01.508||+0.074||+0.738||60|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Repsol Honda Team||2:01.512||+0.004||+0.742||48|
|5||Marco Simoncelli||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:01.522||+0.010||+0.752||42|
|6||Hiroshi Aoyama||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:01.534||+0.012||+0.764||58|
|7||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:01.563||+0.029||+0.793||35|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||2:01.687||+0.124||+0.917||63|
|9||Colin Edwards||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.722||+0.035||+0.952||33|
|10||Hector Barbera||Aspar Team||2:02.093||+0.371||+1.323||45|
|11||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Marlboro Team||2:02.379||+0.286||+1.609||62|
|12||Randy De Puniet||Pramac Racing Team||2:02.426||+0.047||+1.656||50|
|13||Valentino Rossi||Ducati Marlboro Team||2:02.597||+0.171||+1.827||42|
|14||Kousuke Akiyoshi||HRC Test Team||2:02.619||+0.022||+1.849||47|
|15||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:03.032||+0.413||+2.262||38|
|16||Loris Capirossi||Pramac Racing Team||2:03.047||+0.015||+2.277||56|
|17||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:03.466||+0.419||+2.696||47|
|18||T2||Yamaha Test Team||2:03.910||+0.444||+3.140||51|
|19||Toni Elias||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:04.026||+0.116||+3.256||58|
|20||T1||Yamaha Test Team||2:04.142||+0.116||+3.372||56|