Valencia MotoGP Test Marred by Rain; Rossi Shakes Down Yamaha

2013 MotoGP Testing

Following the 2012 MotoGP Championship, which ended at Valencia Sunday, the grid remained at the circuit for the first prepping session ahead of 2013.

Many riders would emerge on the machines of their new teams for 2013 MotoGP, though rain halted the testing session, leaving some riders not participating.

The focus was mainly on one man – Valentino Rossi. Following two years of bad results on the Ducati, Rossi returns to the Yamaha Factory Racing team. And Tuesday’s testing session at Valencia was the nine-time World Champion’s first shakedown of the YZR-M1.

Despite cold and then wet conditions, Rossi still participated in the test, finishing sixth fastest behind the day’s leader, Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.

As for Rossi’s teammate, the 2012 MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo opted to remain inside. Both factory Yamaha riders will not participate in Wednesday’s final Valencia testing session, the team looking ahead to the next tests in Aragon.

In the Repsol paddock, newly-signed Marc Marquez, the 2012 Moto2 Champion, did not go out on the track. The Spaniard decided to wait for a dry track for his MotoGP debut. His teammate, Dani Pedrosa, also didn’t participate on Tuesday.

The man who replaced Rossi on the Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso, was out during the semi-dry morning session. He finished third overall. His teammate, Nicky Hayden, also went out, working on the Ducati GP12’s suspension; the American finished the day fifth fastest.

Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, who was also making his debut in the premier-class, only did one out-lap before returning to the pits in the morning. Like Marquez, he was waiting for better conditions to start his MotoGP career, however decided to take the plunge in the afternoon, ultimately finishing 13th, after completing the second most laps with 40. Standing in for the injured Ben Spies and also taking his first spin on the Ducati was Michele Pirro, who ended the day in 7th.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 was also to see new-boy Bradley Smith head out on track for the very first time on a MotoGP machine, however MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi jumped on his bike first in the morning to set some laps in the dry. This was part of Capirossi’s job as MotoGP Safety Officer, meaning he has now tested the majority of bikes on the grid. Smith however, opted to stay in his box, although stated if tomorrow is wet from the start he is likely to head out. His teammate Cal Crutchlow, nursing a broken bone in his hand from the weekend, decided not head out, hoping for improved weather tomorrow.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was given the 2013 Honda to try for the day, yet posted his initial time this morning on his current machine. Ending the day in second, the German did not go out in the wet, putting in only five laps. GO & FUN Honda Gresini’s Bautista was the first to put the hammer down this morning, topping the timesheets for the first part of the day with a five-lap stint. This was however all the Spaniard did, as some new parts from Honda were not testable in the wet, meaning he is hoping for dry weather tomorrow.

Cardion AB Racing Karel Abraham took his first outing on his new ART machine, having switched to the CRT bike from the satellite Ducati. Abraham was hesitant to head out once the rain came, yet ultimately put in 27 laps for the day to get used to his new bike. NGM Mobile Forward Racing was pitching its Suter against two Kawasaki-powered FTR machines, with Claudio Corti lapping on both early on, and Edwards heading out on the FTR just before lunch in the wet. Edwards stated that he was very content with the FTR and would make it his motorbike of choice. Edwards ended the day in 11th and Corti in eighth.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was continuing work on his new chassis, whilst teammate Randy de Puniet was working with a new swingarm among other upgrades. Both were left frustrated by the weather, yet will continue their test work tomorrow even if it rains. Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama was one of the early ones out on track with the team’s BQR-FRT, with Héctor Barberá also familiarising himself with his new machine. Aoyama ended the day in fourth [dry time] and Barberá in 14th.

Valencia MotoGP Test – Tuesday Results:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Prev. Gap Lead. Gap Laps Last lap
1. BAUTISTA, Alvaro Go & Fun Honda Gresini 1:35.936 4/5 2:12.324
2. BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 1:36.198 0.262 0.262 3/5 1:48.692
3. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:39.868 3.670 3.932 3/41 1:39.919
4. AOYAMA, Hiroshi Avintia Blusens 1:42.239 2.371 6.303 2/31 1:53.277
5. HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 1:42.571 0.332 6.635 21/30 1:57.936
6. ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 1:43.736 1.165 7.800 27/28 1:34.374
7. PIRRO, Michele Pramac Racing Team 1:44.297 0.560 8.361 33/35 1:37.920
8. CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:45.814 1.517 9.878 24/29 1:44.226
9. DE PUNIET, Randy Power Electronics Aspar 1:46.045 0.231 10.109 16/21 1:34.801
10. ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 1:46.060 0.015 10.124 10/15 1:38.289
11. EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:46.426 0.366 10.490 14/19 2:02.104
12. ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 1:46.992 0.566 11.056 21/27 1:38.753
13. IANNONE, Andrea Pramac Racing Team 1:47.772 0.780 11.836 22/40 1:42.853
14. BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 1:49.457 1.685 13.521 30/42 1:40.281
NC PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project
NC PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team
NC CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3
NC SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3
NC BYRNE, Shane Paul Bird Motorsport
NC MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team
NC LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing