2012 MotoGP Testing
The third official testing period of the 1000cc MotoGP era wrapped up Monday at the Mugello circuit in Italy following round nine at that same venue over the weekend.
And Sunday’s MotoGP winner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, took the top time ahead of the Repsol Honda duo of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, respectively.
The Spaniard, who currently leads the championship by 19 points over Pedrosa, worked on suspension settings during 40 laps at Mugello Monday. The 2010 MotoGP Champion also experimented with new engine parts and a software package on the YZR-M1. His best time was a 1:47.435, just below his Saturday qualifying time.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Yesterday we did 40 laps. We worked on improving the settings of the bike compared to the race and also tried some different engine specification to help us choose the direction to work in for the future. The track was very bad this morning after all the fans were on it sunday afternoon but it became a lot better.”
Lorenzo’s teammate, the Ben Spies, did not participate due to a stomach virus that hampered the American’s progress during Sunday’s GP.
The Repsol Honda team experimented with the 2013 prototype motorcycles, one for each rider. These bikes were designed to get rid of the chattering issues both Sonter and Pedrosa have been experiencing this season.
Although Pedrosa suffered a crash during the Mugello test, he performed 51 laps with a best of 1:47.549, which was just 0.270 of a second slower than Lorenzo, and two tenths under the circuit record set by Pedrosa during Sunday’s race (1:47.549). Pedrosa says the new prototype was positive.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We tested many things today and I’m happy because we found some positives with the new engine and also with the new chassis that can help us in the second part of the season.
“I was really hoping for some improvements after the issues we have had with the extra weight, chattering and the front tires and in this test we made a step forward. Honda is working very hard and I’m sure they will do their best to be able to supply us the new parts for Laguna and the following races, but we’ll see if it’s possible with the engine allocations; anyway, it would be very good for us.
“The engine is better into the corner, the engine brake is smoother and the bike is not so sharp when you close the throttle, so this helps you to get into the corner. I made my best lap time on my current bike; it’s normal as I’m used to it. With the new bike I made a mistake shifting gears and I had a small crash on my third lap, so I couldn’t do a longer run, but the feeling was also positive”.
Stoner completed 47 laps with a fastest time of 1:47.551, just two thousandths off his team mate. The Australian wasn’t as happy with the bike as Pedrosa, but says he would like the new chassis/engine combo at Laguna Seca, which will host Round 10 in two weeks time.
As for Ducati, Monday was one of a four-day test scheduled at the track, the team attempting to get the GP12 more compeitive to compete with the Yamaha and Honda prototypes.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden spent the day with test-rider Franco Battaini, the three evaluating new parts.
One item that was tested today was a new ECU for the Desmosedici engine, which Rossi claimed was not a big step forward, yet should bring improvements. He only managed a run in the morning however, as he crashed after one lap in the afternoon, and was unable to continue due to a problem with the ECU. Hayden and Battaini did however continue lapping, and Hayden set the fourth quickest time of the day. Rossi’s morning time left him in 10th, MotoGP says.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “They had some things to try today, but it was mainly with an eye toward the future, as the substantial changes they’re working on at Ducati for the engine’s power delivery weren’t ready yet.
“So this was an intermediate step, an interim engine management system through a new ECU. We started testing it this morning, and the first feelings were good, as I immediately did a good time with a used tyre. However, when I started again after the break, the bike stalled at the Correntaio and I fell.
“Fortunately, I was leaned over quite far at that point so I just tipped over, and nothing bad happened. In the interest of safety, we decided to stop because the engineers have to analyze the data to understand what happened. We also had some different parts for the chassis, but we weren’t able to work with them much since we finished early. In the end, it wasn’t a particularly productive day, although the first impression with this change was pretty good.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow focussed their efforts on race set-up, in particular on improving corner speed. Both looked on the pace throughout the day as the Brit finished in fifth place, with his teammate narrowly behind in sixth. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was evaluating new brake pads and a new master cylinder for enhanced braking performance, as well as testing new Ohlins front forks and rear suspension. In addition, the team tried out new geometry settings on the bike.
Like Rossi and Pedrosa, the German rookie also suffered a crash in the afternoon. He did not break the 1.48 barrier, yet finished the day a credible seventh. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who had a disappointing race weekend at the Tuscan track, was working on the front suspension of his bike throughout the day, and ultimately came in ninth. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who did well to qualify on the front row for the Italian race, was working on new electronics and set-up with his team. He ended the day in 11th.
MotoGP says among the CRT field, the most notable test was that of NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who in the morning turned seven laps on San Carlo Honda Gresini’s FTR-Honda, and six laps on the Avintia Blusens BQR-FTR machine of Yonny Hernandez in the afternoon. He also tested upgrades on his Suter-BMW machine, which he will be racing in Laguna Seca whilst continuing to try and improve it.
San Carlo’s Michele Pirro was also out on track with FTR-Honda, trying to resolve the mechanical issues that have plagued him in the last two races. The Power Electronics Aspar team had tasked Aleix Espargaró to test a new frame, whilst Randy de Puniet was evaluating a new fairing. Avintia’s Iván Silva was undertaking tests on the part-carbon Inmotec chassis to aid with its development, although the team has stated it will continue with the FTR chassis this season. Silva also went out on his teammate’s machine to evaluate its Öhlins suspension. It was however Espargaró who lapped the quickest of the CRT bunch, having set the 12th fastest time of the day.
Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, as well as Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham were absent from the test.