2010 MotoGP Testing in Valencia

November 9, 2009
JC Hilderbrand
Melody DeKorte
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Melody rides anything with handlebars & a motor and always wants to beat the boys. Be it sand, dirt, track, or street she loves to ride day, night, rain, or shine. A true dedicated motorcycle and powersports enthusiast with a need for speed and corners, she loves the sound of a revving motor and the smell of race fuel. Life on two wheels, what a beautiful thing!

A day after the final round of the 2009 MotoGP season, the teams are back out on the Valencia circuit beginning preparations for the upcoming 2010 series.

After a disappointing crash-out during the warm-up prior to Sunday’s race, Casey Stoner was back out on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and posted the fastest-lap time of 1’32.660, aboard the newly configured Ducati Marlboro Desmosedici.

Ducati Marlboros Casey Stoner was back in top-form during testing. The Aussie suffered a high-side crash during the warm-up for the final round at Valencia and could not join the race.
Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner (27) topped the timesheets during testing at Valencia for the upcoming 2010 MotoGP season.

Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo finished the day second-fastest behind Stoner with teammate, Valentino Rossi 0.141 seconds behind. The Yamaha team was riding a revised version of the 2010 prototype YZR-M1 alongside the 2009 bike.

Fresh from his race-win, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa set the fourth-quickest lap time with Stoner’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, occupying the fifth-spot. American Ben Spies was back out on the circuit, but today marks his first day as part of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad. The Texan had a productive day completing 50 laps and posting the sixth-fastest lap with new teammate, Colin Edwards, landing at 12th-fastest.

Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, occupied seventh on the timesheets. The Italian lapped ahead of the 2009 MotoGP Rookie of Year, Mika Kallio, on the Pramac Racing Ducati with fellow Honda rider Randy De Puniet recording the ninth-fastest lap.

Marco Melandri joins the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team for 2010. The Italian rounded out the top-ten during Day 1 on his new machine with another Ducati pilot, Aleix Espargaro, completing his first day of testing in 11th. Rizla Suzuki and Loris Capirossi began work with a newly designed GSV-R and new pilot, Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard has stepped up to the premier class after a successful 2009 250cc season, where he graced the podium 10 times out of 16 races. Also making the move up from the 250cc class is Marco Simoncelli, who posted the 14th quickest-lap on his San Carlo Honda Gresini machine.

Marco Melandri joins the San Carlo Honda Gresini team for 2010.
San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Melandri gets accustomed to the new RC212V.

MotoGP Testing Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) 1:32.660
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) 1:32.685
3. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) 1:32.826
4. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1:33.088
5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) 1:33.358
6. Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:33.496
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) 1:33.675
8. Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing Ducati) 1:33.726
9. Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda) 1:33.775
10. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1:33.839
11. Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing Ducati) 1:33.878
12. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:33.929
13. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) 1:34.144
14. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1:35.229
15. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) 1:35.772
16. Hector Barbera (Aspar Team) 1:36.204
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Honda) 1:37.964
18. Kenny Noyes (Promoracing) 1:38.654
19. Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop and Go) 1:39.815
20. Joan Olive (Promoracing) 1:41.989

Rider Quotes:

Casey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro:
“We tried a new engine configuration designed at improving the rideability of the bike and for the moment it is going really well. The feedback is more smooth and we improved traction with the same set-up we used over the weekend, so that is positive. We also tried some different forks and in general I am satisfied. We didn’t do many laps today – just tried to make sure we were working in the right direction. I think we are and I can’t wait to get back on track tomorrow, when hopefully it won’t be as windy.”

Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha:
“I was really excited to try this new version of the M1 today and I had a lot of motivation to get back to work. The feeling out of the corner is much better and we have more grip already in the rear so it’s a big improvement for me. We still need to work on accelleration but I like what we have so far and I think we will continue to be competitive like this year. We have to wait and see the comparison between the old and new bike at a different track next year, but I am excited. I’m quite tired because this is already our fourth day riding here, but I am happy to have one more day of testing.”

Repsol Hondas Dani Pedrosa tests the new RC212V at Valencia.
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda:
“We tested with the new 2010 bike today and also used Ohlins suspension. The key thing was to begin getting used to the new suspension because the feelings are quite different and we need some time to find the set-up for the new chassis. We didn’t do so many laps this afternoon because, with this kind of testing, you spend quite a lot of time in the box. The feeling from the chassis was quite similar today – it’s the suspension that really feels different, and I think this is normal when you make a change like this. The initial feeling is positive and we’ll come back tomorrow and get back down to work.”

Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha:
“It was quite hard work to get back on the bike today but it’s a very important test for us. The new prototype we have already feels better than what we tried in Brno, so this is positive. I was faster than with the old bike straight away so we know we’re working in the right way and hopefully we can improve some more tomorrow. Of course we still have a 2009 specification engine and we won’t have an update until the next test in February, but the bike already feels more stable and has more rear grip. Tomorrow we have quite a lot to get through and it will be an important day before we can finally relax.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro Team:
“I was really looking forward to getting back out on track today and starting work on next season. We have a direction to work in and loads of work to do but we made a lot of progress already today. We don’t have a lot of tires available and just worked with two sets – a hard one and a softer one – with very similar times on both that were not far off my qualifying time from Saturday. We tried some engine updates on one of the bikes, some forks and a couple of different settings but this is just the start and it is early to say which is best because the lap times have been very similar. Generally it’s been a good first day and I’m happy.”

Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda:
“Today we tried the 2010 machine with the new chassis and swing arm. It’s very early days of course, but the first impression is positive and the feeling is that we are working in a good direction. The weight distribution is different in order to improve the stability of the machine under braking and to better suit the Bridgestone tires. We have two more days of testing here, and tomorrow we have the whole day to continue evaluating the new machine.”

Randy de Puniet – LCR Honda:
“First we tried to understand what happened yesterday when I struggled with rear grip issues during the race but we have not found a real solution to that problem. After that we worked on some new things like the 2010 link of Ohlins suspensions, modified traction control software and some new braking system components. I am pretty satisfied about the performance of the bike but I would like to get more stability in the rear which is our main job for tomorrow.”

Newly crowned 2009 250cc Champion Hiroshi Aoyama joins the premier class for 2010.
Hiroshi Aoyama – Interwetten Honda MotoGP:
“Today we started a little bit later than the other riders as last night we celebrated my 250 title. Yesterday my dream came true and today a new adventure starts. Even if I knew that I was going to ride a MotoGP bike, till yesterday I was 100 per cent focused on the 250. Today I tested a 4 stroke MotoGP bike for the first time. We lapped without traction control and electronic system (anti wheeling) to get used to the new machine. I was not used also to carbon brakes so today I concentrated to study the carbon brakes. For me everything was new today: new bike, new team so the first thing was to make laps and study the bike. Tomorrow we have the whole day to test, this would be very important as today we only completed 40 laps .”

Marco Melandri – San Carlo Honda Gresini:
“I had a very positive feeling this morning when I entered the garage and tested my position on the bike. It was a very good surprise to feel how different it is the current Honda machine to the bike I used to ride in 2007. We started working on the geometry of the machine while tomorrow we will focus on suspension and some other details but I’m really very happy. The engine is a little different to use compared to the one I was used this year and I need to get used to controlling the gas. Anyway my pace was quite consistent and not too far from the other Honda riders”.

Marco Simoncelli – San Carlo Honda Gresini:
“I was impressed by the speed! It is not aggressive but the engine pushes. The first impression is that it’s not so easy as people say. After the test I shared with the technicians my first impressions and tomorrow we will continue working. We started with some settings studied for riders with different physical sizes than I so we did immediately important changes and I improved constantly. We have to continue like this, step by step as I need to understand the new machine and the direction to take for the set up”

Ben Spies – Monster Yamaha Tech 3: 
“I am really happy to finally make my debut for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. They are a great team and it feels good to finally get to work with them. Today I was obviously on a different bike but with the same setting that I raced on and it felt good. I improved on my qualifying time so it was a positive and productive day. I really just focused on doing a couple of things different with my style and in the last two sessions I tried to do some things very different and it worked. I was slowly able to chip away at the lap times, so it is encouraging that I’m getting faster and more comfortable without even making any changes to the set-up of the bike. We’ll make some changes to the bike tomorrow, more for me to see what I can feel, than looking for big improvements.”

Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3: 
“First of all I want to welcome Ben to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, or should that be Team Texas. He’s joined a fantastic squad and we already love him here because his brilliant Yamaha debut in the race helped me get fifth in the world championship. Personally I’m really excited about working with him in 2010 because he’s a talented rider, and I’m sure we’ll be motivating each other a lot. I didn’t too many laps today and all I did was work on the wheelbase and some different front-end geometry. The bike felt good and we definitely learned a couple of things by making the bike longer. I’ve got a couple of other things to check on the bike tomorrow and then it will off for a hard earned winter break.”