Sepang II MotoGP Test: Stoner Tops Day 1

2012 MotoGP Testing

In a recent video interview, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner reported he was chasing new records at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

And although the first day of three in the second official MotoGP test at Sepang was cut short by thunderstorms, the Australian lead the time sheets with a 2:01.761 on lap eight of 16. Following Stoner by 0.244 of a second was his teammate Dani Pedrosa, with the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and third and fourth, respectively.

During the brief run Tuesday by Stoner, who topped the Sepang 1 session earlier this month with a 1:59.607 (faster than Valentino Rossi’s record MotoGP lap of 2:00.518 set in 2009), worked on various suspension setups on the RC213V 1000cc Repsol Honda machine. He sat out the afternoon sessions that were plagued by thunderstorms.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It was really hard to leave Switzerland, Ally woke up for a feed at the same time as I was leaving for the airport and I didn’t really want to leave! The first day of testing has gone well, we started off where we left last time but the track conditions have been a little worse.

“We have a some work to do, this morning we managed to compare a few things back to back, we’ve tried a new set of brake disks to try and reduce the brake fade that I’ve been having at the last test so that’s been an improvement. We’re trying a few other things with set up, to shorten the wheelbase and get a little more traction. We have a couple of things we can try to change the stiffness and also move the weight around a little bit to try and upset the chatter and reduce the frequency.

“This afternoon I have no doubt we would have gone a second or a second and a half faster, but the rain came out and the track didn’t dry up enough to warrant going out so we’ll wait until tomorrow.”

As for Pedrosa, Repsol Honda says the Spaniard focused on chassis geometry, rider position and power delivery of the new 1000cc MotoGp engine, and posted a best time of 2:02.005. He also had engine issues, which are currently being analyzed.

Lorenzo experimented with gearbox adjustments on the YZR-M1, searching for more stability while shifting. The 2010 MotoGP Champion posted a 2:02.436, and was 0.675 of a second behind Stoner. Spies trailed his teammate by 0.383 of a second.

Another Honda followed in fifth, the RC213V piloted by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard posted a 2:02.959. He was followed by 0.173 of a second behind by Nicky Hayden, the fastest of the Ducati MotoGP riders.

During the test, the American worked on electronics aboard the Ducati Team GP12, and also monitored the strength in his left shoulder, which was recently operated on.

Behind Hayden was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, with nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi the eighth fastest aboard the other Ducati Team GP12, posting a 2:03.245.

Rossi was followed by Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha’s Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.

The top time of the CRT machines went NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who posted a 2:05.510, 3.749 seconds behind Stoner.

The riders will return to the Sepang Circuit Wednesday for the second of the three-day test.

2012 Sepang II MotoGP Test: Day 1 Times (Tuesday, Feb. 28)

PosRiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLaps
1.Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team2:01.76116
2.Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:02.005+0.244+0.24436
3.Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:02.436+0.431+0.67522
4.Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:02.819+0.383+1.05831
5.Alvaro BautistaSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:02.959+0.140+1.19824
6.Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:03.132+0.173+1.37155
7.Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.213+0.081+1.45227
8.Valentino RossiDucati Team2:03.245+0.032+1.48439
9.Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:03.612+0.367+1.85124
10.Stefan BradlLCR Honda2:03.820+0.208+2.05931
11.Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.830+0.010+2.06923
12.Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.510+1.680+3.74925
13.Franco BattainiCardion AB Motoracing2:05.563+0.053+3.80211
14.Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:08.109+2.546+6.34832
15.Yonny HernándezAvintia Racing2:08.767+0.658+7.00616