MotoGP Sepang 2
For the second consecutive day, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was the top rider at pre-season MotoGP test at the Sepang International Raceway in Malaysia.
Stoner posted his fastest time on his final lap, which was just over a tenth of a second from the 2:00 barrier at Sepang (2). Following Stoner in second and third were his teammates, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
The fourth and fifth fastest riders were the Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.
The only man to miss the test on Wednesday was Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who had flu-like symptoms and opted out of the test day. Rossi hopes to return for the final day of testing at Sepang on Thursday.
Here’s what the riders were saying after Wednesday’s pre-season MotoGP test:
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: "Today we were testing mainly suspension parts, a new front fork in the morning that gives us a more positive feeling on braking, and a rear shock in the afternoon that improves the feeling with the rear tyre, so I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done together with Ohlins.
"We also tried different settings for the chassis and I’d like to be in the position tomorrow to decide which one we will use for this season. Now, both chassis give me a good feeling and I have to put my head down and think about it because it’s a very important decision.
"Since coming into MotoGP, this test together with the 2006 winter test on the 990 cc. bike, is the best pre-season. In 2006 I remember we had a very good last test that allowed us to face the first race well prepared and with a lot of confidence; and now it feels very similar.
"The bike is responding in the areas we need, although the first race is where you see clearly where you win and where you lose. I think Yamaha will be closer than they are now, so we have to keep an eye on them."
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: "I’m repeating myself, but I’m very very happy. It was a surprise to do 2’00.9 in the first test and we’ve been able to do 2’05 today, which is great.
"Normally I’m not so fast in testing, so to be competitive like this is very good. Today, the track conditions were better, as usual in the second day of testing, but another good point is that we have improved our lap times from the first test, and our rivals haven’t so much.
"In terms of tested items, today we did nothing in particular, just tried a few things that you don’t have time to test during the season, and we were consistent all day. The plan for tomorrow is to do a simulation, and it will be a good training to start the season in Qatar with more information about how the tyres and the bike work in race distance."
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: "We tested a lot of different things including the 2011 fork and new shocks and we found quite a lot of chattering with them. We spent 90-percent of the day on one bike trying different configurations, changing the geometry to get the new fork working with the bike but didn’t find anything that felt really good, but these things are necessary to do before the start of the season.
"We’re slowly starting to lean more towards the standard frame but tomorrow will give us more confirmation on this. We found the new forks to be quite amazing in the braking points, in hard breaking I didn’t need to use half as much pressure and I was able to stop for the corner much quicker, but found a lot more chattering in the last part of the corner. We managed to reduce this but we just seemed to lack the extra feeling that the alternative forks were giving."
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing M1) says: "I think we had a really successful day, we tried a little bit of a different chassis set up to try and improve the rear grip and we definitely succeeded in that.
"We did a few long runs and were quite fast on a hot track so it has been really productive finding how to be consistent in the heat. It’s a pity I made a small mistake at the end of the day however I think we’ve gained a lot, especially with the rear grip of the bike."
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing M1) says: "It was a hard and hot day today, we tried the test bike as well as my 2011 bike to reconfirm a number of new developments. We confirmed that the direction is right so we will continue tomorrow with this direction on my M1. We’ve definitely improved the traction a lot, although we could still do with some more power."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team GP11) says: "It wasn’t the smoothest day, as we had a couple of time-consuming glitches. We had planned to put on some fresh tires at the end to see how good the changes we’d made really were, but we had a small problem with the gearbox near the end, and there wasn’t time to go back out.
"We still did 44 laps though, and it was a pretty solid day overall. The team really worked hard today, so thanks to them as always. Our gap to the front is still quite big, but we’ve definitely managed to get the chatter a lot better.
"It’s not completely cured, but it’s good enough that we can focus on some other stuff. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so hopefully we can take a big step and leave here positive."
Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki GSV-R) says: "It seems like at this moment the bike has better durability than the rider! This has been bad luck to get sick at two consecutive tests – I feel very drained but I am confident that I will be ok tomorrow after maybe 12 hours sleep!
"But there was also some positive points today – we tested a new rear swing-arm which improved the rear grip by a reasonable step and also a new engine map which helped the bike punch off the corner better.
"My best lap was with race distance already completed on the tires, so for sure I can go quicker with new tires but today my condition was not the best for a ‘qualifying’ style lap. I’m frustrated but happy – we have improved the Suzuki quite a lot since the end of 2010."
Toni Elias (LCR Honda RC212V) says: "We had another productive day though it was very hard to ride in these tropical conditions. From yesterday I felt more comfortable with the bike like I understood the bike a little better but as I said before we still have a lot of work to do.
"We managed to work on set-up even today finding strong points and weak points. Actually our base set up give us the chance to make a low 2’02 but today we focused on different adjustments rather than chasing a fast lap time."
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) says: "I´m really happy because ever since yesterday we have increased our pace and I am much quicker out on track. I found good consistency riding at a solid pace in the low 2´ 01" bracket and a little bit higher.
"I’m satisfied and we are only eight-tenths off top spot and we still haven´t used the soft tire as many others did this morning when track temperatures were better. My best time came on hard tires and in very different asphalt conditions. During the day I had a small slide out which made me realize that I need to brake a little earlier into the final corner."
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) says: "Today we continued the work we began yesterday on comparing various technical aspects of the bike to try and understand the choices we have to make before the season starts.
"Now we have a much clearer idea of the direction to go in I am happy with the work we have done, and I think that both the team and Honda are equally satisfied. I´m not as happy with my lap-time but we were too busy working through other things. I will try to do better tomorrow, and I am sure I´ll manage to do so."
Randy De Puniet (Pramac Racing Team GP11) says:"It did not go as I expected. I still find a bit of trouble when breaking and also when entering the corners. Every time I try to push harder the lap time goes up. Tomorrow we will use the basic set up of yesterday, because today was not convincing. The goal, for tomorrow is to improve the lap time and find the right set-up for the start of the season."
Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing Team GP11) says: "Today we focused on the development of certain technical details, and tomorrow we will try to lower our lap time. We studied different solutions trying to figure out the areas for improvement. I am confident and I think the last day of test tomorrow we can do something good to lower our best lap time as up to today we did not use soft tires."