2011 MotoGP Test
The traditional post-season MotoGP Valencia tests wrapped up Wednesday with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa remaining the fastest rider on the Spanish circuit.
Pedrosa, who spent both days testing the Repsol Honda RC213V, was quickest Tuesday and again Wednesday. The Spaniard posted a blistering 1:31.807, which was below the circuit record set by Casey Stoner in 2008 (1:32.582), but not quite as quick as the best lap set by Valentino Rossi in 2006 (1:31.002).
When Wednesday was complete, Pedrosa would complete 45 laps, setting his quickest time on lap 12. During the test, Pedrosa worked on the RC213V’s engine mapping and rear-shock setup.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We had another good day of testing today. Basically we’ve been working on the engine mapping, to better manage the power of the bike, and with the rear shock. The changes we’ve done on the bike from Brno to here have been positive and we finish the year with a good feeling.
“It will be interesting to go to Sepang and continue working under very different conditions, with harder tire compounds and a much higher track temperature. In general, I’m leaving Valencia in a good mood, more for the improvements we’ve made than for the lap times, which are not so important for me in winter testing.”
The only other rider to post under the 1:32 mark was Pedrosa’s teammate, 2011 MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner. The Australian, who completed 33 laps, was 0.161 of a second slower than Pedrosa, and worked throughout the day on front-chatter issues.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Everything has gone pretty well to be honest, on the first day we just needed to compare the bike to the one we tested earlier in the year. There have been a few small improvements especially in terms of the bike working with the new 2012 tires.
“The front tire gives us quite a lot of chatter so this is something we are trying to improve and the new bike helped with that slightly but we’d still like to improve that point a little more. Something we’ve had since last season with the 800’s is a lack of feeling and some chatter coming from the rear on the way into the corner which is something we still need to improve with the RC213V but we believe we know the direction to go in to improve this situation.
“Overall it’s been a positive test and it’s the end of a long season! I’m looking forward to going home now and having some rest, enjoying time with family and friends and preparing for the arrival of our child in February, then we’ll be back revitalized and ready for 2012.”
And just as in Tuesday’s MotoGP testing, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies was the third fastest rider, the Texan posting a best lap of 1:32.338. During Wednesday’s test, Spies rode 75 laps, working on engine specs and geometry settings.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing M1 MotoGP) says: “It’s been a long two days. We had a lot of work to do with Jorge not being here but we’ve got through everything. I think we got the guys working in the right direction, we’re still quite a way from Qatar and what we’ll be racing with but we’ve got a good idea of what we need to work on.
“There’s a lot of potential in what we have so they’ll go back to Japan now to work on it for a couple of months and we’ll see what we have as a package next year. The team and engineers have worked really hard for the last couple of days so a big thank you to them.”
The next two fastest times arrived from the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha duo of Cal Crutchlow, the 2011 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, and newly-signed Andrea Dovizioso. Both familiarized themselves with Yamaha YZR-M1 1000cc MotoGP machinery.
Valentino Rossi continued working on the Ducati GP12, utilizing a new experimental chassis. He completed 55 laps on Wednesday, working next to official MotoGP test rider Franco Battaini who substituted for Nicky Hayden. The American Hayden injured his scaphoid in his right wrist during the first-lap crash at Valencia MotoGP Sunday, the injured requiring minor surgery which Hayden will undergo in the next few days.
After the news Wednesday morning of Alvaro Bautista leaving Rizla Suzuki and joining San Carlo Honda Gresini for 2012 MotoGP, the Spaniard was on track later in the day for his first laps aboard the 2011 RC212V, the same machine Hiroshi Aoyama ended this year’s season with. Bauitista put in 55 laps, posting the 10th fastest overall time.
Newly-signed Pramac Ducati rider Hector Barbera continued familiarizing himself with the new team as progress was made on the Desmo. Karel Abraham also continued work with the Cardion AB Ducati team, the young Czech getting some laps in aboard the new GP12.
LCR Honda was also present at the test with Moto2 Champion Stefan Bradl at the controls. Bradl posted a best lap of 1:34.142. Although Bradl has been testing the LCR Honda, there is still no official word from the team about next year’s rider.
MotoGP reports that the CRT progress continued too with Carmelo Morales leading the way on the Team Laglisse’s BMW/Suter machine. Iván Silva and the Inmotec project were also on track, as was Moto2 rider Yonny Hernández with BQR’s FTR/Kawasaki. The session was briefly red flagged just before 2 p.m. local time when Gapam’s Federico Sandi crashed, but action resumed shortly after with the Italian escaping any harm, MotoGP says.
MotoGP says all CRT machines, along with the 1000cc prototypes on track, tested Bridgestone’s 2012 compounds also, with positive feedback.
2011 MotoGP Post-Season Valencia Tests: Combined Times
1. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team 1m31.807s (Wed)
2. Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team 1m31.968s (Wed) +0.161s
3. Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing 1m32.338s (Wed) +0.531s
4. Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m32.550s (Wed) +0.743s
5. Andrea Dovizioso, Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m33.256s (Wed) +1.449s
6. Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team 1m33.332s (Wed) +1.525s
7. Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing 1m33.433s (Wed) +1.626s
8. Randy de Puniet, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m33.544s (Tue) +1.737s
9. Hector Barbera, Pramac Racing Team 1m33.648s (Wed) +1.841s
10. Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m33.814s (Wed) +2.007s
11. Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP 1m34.142s (Wed) +2.335s
12. Kousuke Akiyoshi, Repsol Honda Team 1m34.546s (Wed) +2.739s
13. Franco Battaini, Ducati Team 1m34.840s (Wed) +3.033s
14. Carmelo Morales, TeamLaglisse (CRT) 1m35.911s (Wed) +4.104s
15. Ivan Silva, BQR Inmotec (CRT) 1m36.695s (Wed) +4.888s
16. Yonny Hernandez, BQR FTR (CRT) 1m37.279s (Wed) +5.472s
17. Federico Sandi, Grillini Team (CRT)1m38.680s (Wed) +6.873s
18. Gianluca Nannelli, Grillini Team (CRT) 1m39.173s (Tue) +7.366s