MotoGP Sepang Test Day 2 Reports

February 6, 2009
Courtesy of Ducati Marlboro Team, Fiat Yamaha Team, Pramac Racing

Ducati Marlboro Team
Casey Stoner - Sepang Test
Stoner posted the fastest time of the day, and significant gain over his fastest lap from Day One of testing.

Stoner On The Pace Despite Pain As Hayden Improves

Both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden improved their performance on what proved to be a more demanding second day of testing at Sepang than either of them had expected. Stoner, still recovering from the effects of a wrist injury and operation, can still only ride as for a few laps at a time and he is not able to push himself after a three month absence. Hayden made an encouraging start to the day but then struggled to find the next step forward with the set-up and it was only towards the end of the session, when he went back towards his initial settings, that he felt comfortable again.

With the threat of rain looming but holding off for today, both riders are hoping for a dry final day tomorrow as they look to make some last-minute improvements before the end of the test.

Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), fastest lap 2’01.483 (29 laps)
“The wrist is giving me a lot of problems and I can’t manage more than two or three laps at a time, so it’s difficult to work on set-up because I’m having to break off too often. We’ve still managed to do some work on improving the feeling on the GP9, with some changes to the rear set-up that have improved the bike in the area we were suffering the most. Now it is much easier to ride. I still can’t ride how I want though and we really need to string a run of consistent laps together, although I know that if I can get a little closer to 100% fitness that problem will be resolved. Hopefully the wrist will feel a bit better tomorrow so that I can try and do a longer run and confirm the positive feedback we’ve had from the bike today.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team), fastest lap 2’03.034 (58 laps)

Nicky Hayden - Sepang Test
Hayden made improvements during Day 2 of testing but will the third day bring him faster laps?

“We made a big improvement immediately this morning on used tires and I was able knock a second off my best time from yesterday. We struggled a bit in the afternoon, though, and didn’t manage to improve any further. I can’t push it on the harder compound tire because it makes the rear move around so much more and the bike becomes unstable. At the end of the session we made a little change that improved the situation and I was able to get back onto my better lap times. The Bridgestones are really consistent and that makes our job a lot easier. Today I did 35 laps on the same front tire without any problems! We know and I know that there is a lot of work to be done. Everything is still very new to me – the engine characteristics, the chassis and the tires, as well as the way the team works together. Obviously it’s not easy to put all that together straight away. We’re working hard though and the improvements will come.”

Fiat Yamaha Team

Rossi And Lorenzo Hard At Work In Sepang

Jorge Lorenzo - Sepang Test
Day 2 was a tough day for Lorenzo with a bit of frustration over his comfort level with the new YZR-M1.

Fiat Yamaha Riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo finished the second day of testing in Sepang in third and tenth places respectively, as they continued to adapt to the latest evolution of the 2009 prototype M1.

Reigning World Champion Rossi had a very positive day, trying out some new electronics and enjoying a light-hearted on-track battle with his old rival Loris Capirossi in the afternoon. He managed to complete 40 laps despite the stitches he has in his hand and foot, and set a best time of 2’01.626, inside the existing lap record.

Lorenzo had a slightly more difficult day as he struggled to find feeling with the new bike and to adapt to the new Bridgestone mono-tires. The Spaniard set a best time of 2’03.056 but hopes to be able to improve enough tomorrow in order to have time for a long-run in the afternoon before the teams pa ck up to leave.

Valentino Rossi
Position: 3rd Time: 2’01.626 Laps: 40
“Today we tested some new electronic solutions in order to allow me to open the throttle earlier and they were not bad at all, but we still need to work to improve it even more. This afternoon the stitches hurt me a bit, but my pace was still very good so I am happy. At the end of the day I had some fun with Loris Capirossi; we did a couple of laps together and I think that he enjoyed it a lot, because he beat me! I had fun, a lot of fun; it was like the good old times! Today I did not do the long run; I will do it tomorrow if my physical condition allows it. I may have to do it in two parts, so that it won’t put too much stress on my stitches. It will be interesting to do the long run with the new tires, but I am not expecting it to be so much slower than last year.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 10th Time: 2’03.056 Laps: 51
“Today was still quite difficult, although I am improving slowly. On this second day we have worked on our braking, because we have seen that Valentino is braking sooner than me and so I need to adapt. I need to use the hours we have and the available tires in the best way possible, but that’s the same for everybody! My main problems at the moment are the braking and the corner speed. Right now I don’t feel at one with the bike and this means I don’t have the confidence to ride fast. I know I can be faster than this because my bike isn’t much different to Valentino’s and he is quicker than me. Of course he was using Bridgestones last year as well and I am new to them, but Colin is also fast so this shows how competitive the bike is. Today we didn’t find the solution, but we still have tomorrow lef t! The aim will be for me to try to adapt, and not to change too many things on the bike. If I can improve a bit, then maybe we will try a long run.”

Jorge Lorenzo - Sepang Test
Lorenzo managed to hold the 10th fastest time spot for the second day as he works to push the new bike to its limits.

Davide Brivio
Team Manager
“We had a good second day, and made a good continuation of our testing programme here in Sepang. Valentino was able to ride very well and to finish the whole schedule we had planned for today. If tomorrow his physical condition allows him to make a long run, we will have a clearer idea of what our level is. Let’s see how things are tomorrow.”

Daniele Romagnoli
Team Manager
“Jorge is still finding it difficult to find confidence in braking and into the turns. We have tried some different settings without finding the solution to our problems, so for tomorrow we will keep the best Yamaha base setting and give Jorge some more time to adapt to the bike and tires.”

Team Pramac Racing

Canepa Improves In The Second Day At Sepang, Kallio Not Fully Satisfied

Marco Rigamonti 
 Niccolò Canepa Track Engineer
“In general the situation has improved compare to yesterday. We have found a type of tires that Niccolò likes more and this gives him more trust. In addition we solved, even if not totally, the problem of top speed encountered yesterday. Tomorrow we will try to make the bike smoother coming out the corners to use even more power. Apart Stoner, until the last sector of the circuit we basically maintain the same level of all other Ducati riders. If tomorrow we will make it to recover that half of second we lose in the last intermediate we could be pretty satisfied.” 

Niccolò Canepa - Sepang Test
Niccolò Canepa dropped a little over a second on his fastest time for Day 2, but is still far behind the rest of the pack.

Niccolò Canepa
Pramac Racing MotoGP Rider
“In this second day of work things have gone a bit better for us. We have shortened the gears and we were able to result faster in top speed in the two final straights. We are still missing something and I hope that tomorrow we will find new solutions to be even faster. My feeing with the bike has also improved. Now, together with my track engineer, we are analyzing other riders’ data to understand where I still make some mistakes. At the end of the day I also managed to stay behind Loris Capirossi for a few laps and I noticed that in a couple turns I take a different line. Tomorrow I will try to change to see if it will help me to reduce a bit more my lap times.”

Mika Kallio
Pramac Racing MotoGP Rider
“Today we have lost some time because we have meet the same problem encountered yesterday and this has in part limited our performances. We made it anyway to work on various technical aspects. Sincerely I expected more from today after the good start done yesterday. I hope the weather conditions will be the same also tomorrow so that we will be able to ride for as many laps as possible during the all day.”

2009 Sepang Test Day 2 Results:

1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team                       2’01.483
2. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP                         2’01.555
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team                           2’01.626
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda                                     2’01.860
5. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP                    2’02.086
6. Toni Elias (SPA) Team San Carlo                                        2’02.232
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha                                2’02.241
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda                                2’02.434
9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team                       2’03.034
10. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team                          2’03.056
11. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando           2’03.308
12. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Team San Carlo                           2’03.518
13. Mika Kallio (FIN) Alice Team                                                2’03.774
14. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Alice Team                                       2’04.021
15. Yamaha Test Rider 1 (JPN) Yamaha Factory Racing     2’04.312
16. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team                         2’04.332
17. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP                   2’04.507
18. Yamaha Test Rider 2 (JPN) Yamaha Factory Racing     2’04.536
19. James Toseland (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha                          2’04.597

Sepang Records:

Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2007) 2’02.108
Best pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2006) 2’00.605

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