Rossi Returns to Top, Leads Day 2 of Jerez MotoGP Testing

Yamaha Factory Racing's Valentino Rossi

2013 Jerez Preseason MotoGP Test, Day 2 Results

The last time Valentino Rossi topped any session was during a wet free practice one at Silverstone last season for the British Grand Prix.

The then-Ducati rider quickly fell from the top in Britian, though, not able to break out of the top 9 throughout the rest of the practices or qualifying, eventually finishing ninth.

The rest of Rossi’s Ducati story is well known, the nine-time World Champion having nothing but sour results throughout the last two years.

But the 34-year-old Italian has showed much promise since switching back to the team in which he earned four premier-class titles –  Yamaha Factory Racing. He’s been running up front throughout most of the preseason practice sessions, and on Saturday during the second day of official practice at Jerez, Rossi was the top rider.

The first day of three at Jerez was plagued by rain, and the first half of Sunday’s session was the same. But when the track dried out, Vale posted a 1:39.525 aboard his YZR-M1. He was a mere 0.015 of a second ahead of his rival and teammate, two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today’s test session was very positive for us. I’m so happy, especially because we used a different style of setting. It is very important for us to understand this setting, which can help and effect my riding style to ride the bike in a better way and stay more constant, especially with good lap times on old tirres.

“To make the first position with a time of 39.5 is good and also being as fast as Jorge. Me and my team are very happy with the pace and I think we will try to continue to work on this way.”

The Spaniard Lorenzo was quickest during Saturday’s wet sessions, but couldn’t catch his teammate Rossi, attributing grip issues.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “The track was dry but not in perfect conditions today, there was not so much grip and we had some problems in some corners, where the bike was not very stable.

“In general it was a very positive test. We worked on suspension and electronics today and we saw that compared to Austin the Yamaha’s were much more competitive.

There are three Yamaha’s in the top three and that is good for the motivation of the brand. The track is not in the best condition, it’s dry but it’s not perfect because of the rain. I think we have to focus on getting more stability on acceleration and get more comfortable with the race pace.”

But it wasn’t only the factory Yamaha riders up top; following the Italian 0.049 of a second back was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow 0.049.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I am very happy with how today went and it was good to get in some laps in the dry. We had a few things to try with the bike and the weather meant we could assess what was positive and negative. It wasn’t easy at the start because the track was really dirty and then later on it got quite cold and slippery, but we got some important work completed on the set-up.

“My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a great job and I am sure with some small adjustments tomorrow we can be faster. The pleasing aspect of today was I was very consistent and that makes me confident for when we come back for the race here. The fact that the top three was filled by Yamaha also bodes well for the race in a few weeks. I am right in the mix with the factory bikes again and this is very satisfying for me.”

The top Honda RC213V rider was Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard posted a 1:39.630, 0.105 of a second behind Rossi. Following Pedrosa was the top Ducati rider – Andrea Dovizioso, who was the final MotoGP pilot to post within a second or Rossi, 0.797 of a second behind.

In sixth, 1.161 seconds behind Rossi was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard spent the day testing various suspension components on his RC213V, and suffered a hectic crash at Sito Pons corner (pic above), sustaining small fractures in his the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand. Though injured, his team reports Bautista will participate in Monday’s third and final day of testing.

Eight went to Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who led all private test sessions two weeks ago at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, which will host round two of the MotoGP Championship April 7.

Rounding out the top 10 Sunday were LCR Hodna’s Stefan Bradl, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden. Both Bradl and Iannone suffered crashes, but walked away unharmed.

The top CRT bike was Avintia Blusens machine piloted by Hector Barbera, who was 1.851 seconds behind Rossi.

The final day of Jerez MotoGP preseason testing gets underway at 10 a.m. local time Monday. This is also the final testing sessions ahead of the opening round of 2013 MotoGP, which occurs under the lights at Qatar April 7. Once again, rain is in the forecast.

2013 Jerez Preseason MotoGP Test Times, Day 2 Results:

PosRiderTeamFastest lapLead. GapPrev. GapLapsLast lap
1ROSSI, ValentinoYamaha Factory Racing Team1:39.52529 / 461:53.166
2LORENZO, JorgeYamaha Factory Racing Team1:39.5400.0150.01522 / 341:40.442
3CRUTCHLOW, CalMonster Yamaha Tech 31:39.5740.0490.03429 / 441:40.097
4PEDROSA, DaniRepsol Honda Team1:39.6300.1050.05631 / 311:39.630
5DOVIZIOSO, AndreaDucati Team1:40.3220.7970.69221 / 301:41.322
6BAUTISTA, AlvaroGO&FUN Honda Gresini1:40.6861.1610.36425 / 351:41.153
7MARQUEZ, MarcRepsol Honda Team1:40.7141.1890.02821 / 361:41.034
8BRADL, StefanLCR Honda MotoGP1:40.7831.2580.06930 / 3210:50.514
9IANNONE, AndreaEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team1:41.0881.5630.30515 / 151:41.088
10HAYDEN, NickyDucati Team1:41.3251.8000.23729 / 351:41.669
11BARBERA, HectorAvintia Blusens1:41.3761.8510.05122 / 251:42.248
12SMITH, BradleyMonster Yamaha Tech 31:41.3981.8730.02228 / 411:59.195
13ESPARGARO, AleixPower Electronics Aspar1:41.4441.9190.04644 / 481:55.080
14PETRUCCI, DaniloCame IodaRacing Project1:41.5292.0040.08531 / 321:41.850
15PIRRO, MicheleDucati Test Team1:41.6032.0780.07425 / 321:42.373
16DE PUNIET, RandyPower Electronics Aspar1:41.6862.1610.08324 / 341:47.643
17CORTI, ClaudioNGM Mobile Forward Racing1:41.7012.1760.01524 / 261:42.466
18SPIES, BenIgnite Pramac Racing Team1:41.7022.1770.00128 / 298:00.431
19ABRAHAM, KarelCardion AB Motoracing1:41.9162.3910.21423 / 351:43.086
20HERNANDEZ, YonnyPaul Bird Motorsport1:42.0502.5250.13421 / 321:42.240
21STARING, BryanGO&FUN Honda Gresini1:42.1072.5820.05739 / 391:42.107
22EDWARDS, ColinNGM Mobile Forward Racing1:42.1542.6290.04731 / 331:42.436
23AOYAMA, HiroshiAvintia Blusens1:43.9594.4341.80525 / 251:43.959
24LAVERTY, MichaelPaul Bird Motorsport1:44.1854.6600.22616 / 211:45.102
25PESEK, LukasCame IodaRacing Project1:44.8745.3490.68925 / 331:45.354