Sepang MotoGP Test: Lorenzo Leads Day 1

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2012 MotoGP Testing

The 2012 MotoGP Championship officially began Tuesday with the first of three test days at Sepang in Malaysia.

And not only was it the first day for riders to get on track following the long winter break, but also the first day to experience the 1000cc MotoGP prototypes in an official situation, with official timing.

And the man on top? Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard posted the fastest time of 2:01.657 aboard the YZR-M1 at the Malaysian circuit. Lorenzo, who completed 30 laps, experimented with many chassis refinements that addressed corner speed during the test.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m very happy with today. For the first ride on the bike in some time, it’s been very positive. Yamaha has worked very hard over the winter for this M1.

“I can see very easily where I have to adapt my riding style for the bike and I can see a lot of potential. We have many areas where we can improve so I’m looking forward to beginning again tomorrow. I’m also very happy that my finger is fine and doesn’t affect my riding at all!”

Following 0.346 of a second behind after completing 48 laps was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa on the RC213V. The Spanaird also tweaked the chassis setup on the new 1000cc Honda, and tested the new Bridgestone tires on the larger machine.

But Pedrosa was the only Repsol Honda team rider on the track during Tuesday’s testing; his teammate, the reigning MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner, sat out due to injuring a back muscle while physically warming up for the test. Repsol Honda test rider Kousuki Akiyoshi completed four laps aboard Stoner’s RC213V, the Japanese rider posting the 14th fastest time. For 2012, each Repsol Honda was designed with a different chassis to compliment each rider’s body.

The third-fastest time went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow, who posted a 2:02.221 during 32 laps. Crutchlow was 0.013 of a second quicker than Lorenzo’s teammate, Ben Spies.

The fifth fastest rider, and last to post within a second of Lorenzo, was Valentino Rossi aboard the completely redesigned Ducati GP12 Desmo. Rossi completed 43 laps aboard the GP12, posting a best time of 2:02.392.

Sixth fastest went to Andrea Dovizioso, who debuted on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. The Italian focused on riding with his newly-plated collarbone, and worked on familiarizing himself with the new Yamaha. The Italian posted a 2:02.759, 0.359 of a second behind Rossi.

Hector Barbera was next, posting the seventh quickest time of 2:02.773 aboard the Pramac Racing Ducati GP12. Barbera was followed by Katsuyuki Nakasuga, the official test rider for Yamaha Factory Racing, and Alvaro Bautista aboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V.

Rounding out the top 10 was Nicky Hayden aboard the other Ducati GP12; the American posted a 2:03.151.

The reigning Moto2 Champion, Stefan Bradl, was 11th quickest aboard his new rider, the LCR Honda; the German finished 0.517 behind Hayden. The next three riders arrived on MotoGP prototypes – Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati), Franco Bataini (Ducati Team Test Rider), Kousuki Akiyoshi (Yamaha Factory Racing test rider).

The CRT teams were out testing, also. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards put in 12 laps aboard the BMW-Suter, posting a 2:08.240. This time was 6.583 seconds behind Lorenzo’s fastest time.

Next was Jordi Torres aboard the Avintia Racing CRT with a 2:10.671, and Torres’ teammate Ivan Silva, who posted a 2:11.267.

MotoGP testing continues Wednesday at Sepang; stay clicked to UltimateMotorCycling.com for separate team reports throughout the day.

2012 MotoGP Test Results: Sepang, Day 1 (Tuesday, Jan. 31):

PosRiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLaps
1.Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:01.657--30
2.Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:02.003+0.346+0.34648
3.Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.221+0.218+0.56432
4.Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:02.234+0.013+0.57728
5.Valentino RossiDucati Team2:02.392+0.158+0.73543
6.Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.751+0.359+1.09420
7.Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:02.773+0.022+1.11641
8.Katsuyuki NakasugaYamaha Factory2:02.829+0.056+1.17232
9.Alvaro BautistaSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:02.869+0.040+1.21245
10.Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:03.151+0.282+1.49433
11.Stefan BradlLCR Honda2:03.668+0.517+2.01144
12.Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing2:03.781+0.113+2.12445
13.Franco BatainiDucati Team2:04.986+1.205+3.32935
14.Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team2:07.163+2.177+5.5064
15.Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:08.240+1.077+6.58321
16.Jordi TorresAvintia Racing2:10.671+2.431+9.01442
17.Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:11.267+0.596+9.61012