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)

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Prev. Gap Lead. Gap Laps
1. Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 2:01.761 16
2. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:02.005 +0.244 +0.244 36
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:02.436 +0.431 +0.675 22
4. Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 2:02.819 +0.383 +1.058 31
5. Alvaro Bautista San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:02.959 +0.140 +1.198 24
6. Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:03.132 +0.173 +1.371 55
7. Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.213 +0.081 +1.452 27
8. Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 2:03.245 +0.032 +1.484 39
9. Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team 2:03.612 +0.367 +1.851 24
10. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 2:03.820 +0.208 +2.059 31
11. Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.830 +0.010 +2.069 23
12. Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:05.510 +1.680 +3.749 25
13. Franco Battaini Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.563 +0.053 +3.802 11
14. Ivan Silva Avintia Racing 2:08.109 +2.546 +6.348 32
15. Yonny Hernández Avintia Racing 2:08.767 +0.658 +7.006 16