Stoner Dominates Sepang MotoGP Test

2012 MotoGP Testing

The man who won 10 races in 2011 en route to his second MotoGP title dominated the final day of testing at Sepang International Circuit Thursday.

Casey Stoner proved just how quick the 1000cc prototypes are over the previous-era’s 800cc machines, the Repsol Honda rider breaking the 2:00 barrier; the Australian posted a 1:59.607 aboard the RC213V.

But what’s also impressive is the three men that followed within a second of Stoner – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo (2:00.198), Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (2:00.256) and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies (2:00.495).

These four riders all lapped under the circuit record set by Valentino Rossi in 2009 while competing on the Fiat Yamaha; that year, Rossi posted a 2:00.518.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: "It’s been a good test in general, we only managed two out of the three days unfortunately but the weather has been really good to us and we’ve been able to do what we planned. The day I missed hasn’t affected us too much and we’ve managed to complete our testing program, to be honest I think track conditions on the first day weren’t that great anyway as the lap times were not so fast.

"I’m still not feeling great with my back but the bike is ok, so we’ve made progress in reducing the chatter a little more and trying a few different things, some small settings on the shock that we haven’t tried before amongst other points. So far it’s been pretty positive, we’ll just have to wait and see what we have for the next test and hopefully improve a little more. Now I’m looking forward to getting home to Switzerland to see Adriana and await the arrival of our baby."

Stoner, who missed the first of three days in Sepang I testing due to straining his back while stretching, and his teammate Pedrosa experimented with shock settings, clutch settings and the new Bridgestone tires on their perspective RC213V prototypes.

As for the Yamaha Factory Racing boys, Lorenzo and Spies focused on electronics to manage the raw horsepower of the 1000cc YZR-M1; Spies, who trailed Stoner by 0.888 of a second, had a minor crash, but was unharmed.

Taking the fifth quickest time was Rossi; the nine-time World Champion posted 2:00.824, which was 1.217 behind Stoner. Although fifth fastest, Rossi, who struggled with the Ducati in 2011, reportedly was happy with the front-end on the new GP12. Speaking of the GP12, Ducati Corse General Manager Fillipo Preziosi says: "This test was mainly focused on understanding if this bike is better in the front and I can say that it is."

Trailing Rossi by 0.105 of a second was Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, who was the final rider to break the 2:01 mark, the Spaniard posting a 2:00.929 while testing new Bridgestone compounds.

Barbera was two tenths quicker than Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, who also crashed during the morning. He was followed by his teammate Andrea Dovizioso.

Rounding out the top-10 times Thursday were Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, and Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden; the American Hayden only performed a few laps due to weakness in his shoulder that he injured while practicing over the break.

Moto2 Champion Stefan Bradl was 11th quickest aboard the LCR Honda, followed by Karel Abraham aboard the Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati.

As for the CRTs, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was quickest, the American posting a 2:04.722 while working on chatter issues. Edwards was followed by Avintia Racing’s Iván Silva and replacement rider Jordi Torres, who completed the day after having engine problems.

The next official MotoGP test arrives at Sepang Feb. 28 through March 1.

2012 MotoGP Test, Sepang I Day 3 Results (Thursday, Feb. 2):

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Prev. Gap Lead. Gap Laps
1. Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1:59.607 21
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.198 +0.591 +0.591 35
3. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:00.256 +0.058 +0.649 26
4. Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.495 +0.239 +0.888 16
5. Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 2:00.824 +0.329 +1.217 42
6. Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team 2:00.929 +0.105 +1.322 40
7. Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.108 +0.179 +1.501 26
8. Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.257 +0.149 +1.650 40
9. Alvaro Bautista San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:01.384 +0.127 +1.777 34
10. Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:01.729 +0.345 +2.122 19
11. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 2:01.894 +0.165 +2.287 38
12. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 2:02.218 +0.324 +2.611 38
13. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory 2:02.334 +0.116 +2.727 27
14. Franco Battaini Ducati Team 2:03.033 +0.699 +3.426 35
15. Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:04.722 +1.689 +5.115 36
16. Ivan Silva Avintia Racing 2:08.225 +3.503 +8.618 41
17. Robertino Pietri Avintia Racing 2:09.640 +1.415 +10.033 16
18. Jordi Torres Avintia Racing 2:10.184 +0.544 +10.577 29