Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi was the quickest on Day 2 setting a time .407 shy of his Sepang pole record time.
“After yesterday this second day has been very good as well, even though we lost a few hours to the rain, and the end we were still able to finish all our work. We worked on the new bike to find a better setting and I was happy to be the fastest overall – even though this is just testing this is important for me!, said Rossi at the end of the day. “At the next test we will have a few more new things but we’re already happy because we’re fast and strong. There is room to improve of course; Sepang is always a good track for the Yamaha so we will have to wait until Qatar to get a better understanding of our level, but we have made a great start.”
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa lapped fourth-fastest, less than a second behind Rossi’s time. Ben Spies went fifth-fastest with the Monster Tech 3 machine, completing the fewest number of laps (31) on his Yamaha. Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, was one of the more studious riders. The Italian completed 56 laps with his best time putting him in sixth.
Colin Edwards lapped seventh-fastest on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, just .014 seconds quicker than Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden (read MotoUSA’s exclusive interview with the Kentucky Kid). Satellite Ducati rider Aleix Espargaro earned ninth on the timesheets and Loris Capirossi was the fastest Suzuki in 10th. The veteran racer’s Rizla Suzuki will soon feature new livery designed by Southern California’s Troy Lee Designs.
Marco Melandri led the San Carlo Honda charge in 11th with Aspar Team rider Hector Barbera in 12th. LCR Honda’s Randy DePuniet completed 48 laps and ended the day 13th. The final 250 World Champion, Hiroshi Aoyama, moved up a couple of slots from Day 1 to 14th on his Interwetten machine and fellow satellite Honda pilot Marco Simoncelli was faster during his Day 2 test but retained his 15th-quickest time slot.
Capirossi’s teammate, Alvaro Bautista, and Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio grabbed the final two spots on the timesheets in 16th and 17th, respectively.
Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden improved slightly over the course of the two day test, but will be looking for further improvement.
MotoGP Sepang Test Day 2 Results:
1. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) 2’00.925
2. Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) 2’01.320
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) 2’01.680
4. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 2’01.822
5. Ben Spies (Yamaha Tech 3) 2’02.266
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) 2’02.266
7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3) 2’02.479
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) 2’02.493
9. Aleix Espargaro (Pramac) 2’02.647
10. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) 2’02.763
11. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda) 2’02.810
12. Hector Barbera (Aspar Team) 2’03.032
13. Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda) 2’03.043
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten-Honda) 2’03.195
15. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda) 2’03.245
16. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) 2’03.275
17. Mika Kallio (Pramac) 2’03.359
Casey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro Team:
“We are quite happy with the test. Today didn’t start really well because of the rain and the wet track, which set us back a few hours, but when it finally did dry out we were able to make some progress. We have definitely improved the set-up of the bike, trying some different things with the swingarm. The lap times are still not where we want them to be and we have to work on taking another couple of tenths off on hard tires, but to be consistently doing 2’01.9 or 2’02.0 laps is a decent pace. Considering that we are using a different engine to the one we’ve had for the last three years and some other new parts that we still need to get the best out of we certainly can’t be unhappy with where we’re at. There is work to do but we have two more test sessions before the season starts for real. In general I am really pleased with how it’s gone.”
Hiroshi Aoyama – Interwetten Honda:
“Compared to yesterday we improved but I’m still not confident on the bike. The machine has changed a lot compared to the one I tested in November and here in December, it feels like a complete new bike and there was not so much time to test. This morning I only went out shortly on wet conditions. In general I’m not happy. ”
Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha:
“I felt much better today and I was able to be fast straight away. It wasn’t a big problem yesterday, it’s just that after such a long break I forget how to ride a little bit! I need a bit of time, but it was much better today. I’m happy about my performance and about my feeling with the new bike. Yamaha have made good improvements without changing the best parts of the bike and this is the best way. They have made some good modifications to the chassis and the engine and this has already improved our pace. We don’t have many days on the bike until the start of the season so we will make the most of the time here next month to continue our good work.”
Ben Spies – Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
“I rode as good and as hard as I could considering how I’ve been feeling. I’m not wanting to make any excuses but I didn’t feel really good with the jetlag. It was still a good test because I learned a lot about improving my riding and adapting my style to suit the Yamaha MotoGP bike. It is hard to break some of my old superbike habits at the moment but I made some big improvements in a couple of places on the track where I was really struggling, particularly in the braking. It started to feel more natural today and I got down to some decent times on race tires. I was a second faster than the first day, so we made some good progress but this is a really difficult track to learn. This track is really long and really wide, but I got to a respectable pace. I’ve said it a load of times but it’s a learning process and every lap I’m learning. My guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 though have been brilliant again. We’re all putting in a lot of effort and I’m pleased with the steps I’ve made.”
Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
“This has been a great test and I’m really happy. The big bonus of the test has been the performance of the engine. Putting it simply it seems they have made the engine with more power and more reliable. Accelerating off the corner was a problem last season but with the new engine it is a strong point. I tried a few things with the chassis and at this stage of the year it is all about crossing off pieces that work and those that don’t. We found a couple of things that improved the bike and gave me more confidence and a couple of things we need to work on. It’s been a great first test and hopefully we can carry this momentum on for the rest of the pre-season and into the serious business of the racing.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro Team:
“I am satisfied but I could be happier. These past two days have flown by and the weather hasn’t helped us to make the most of the track time available. Anyway, this morning we got the chance to find a wet setting for the new forks and engine. When we went out in the dry I could feel an instant improvement on yesterday and I set a decent pace but then we didn’t improve further. I would have liked to post a better lap time but just when we put some new tires in the rain came back. However, it was a very positive test and I can’t wait to get back to work at the next one in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Aleix Espargarò – Pramac Racing:
“Yesterday we have tried to find a constant pace while today we focused looking for the fast lap. It wasn’t so bad; on the contrary, I am really pleased on how things have gone. This is only my first winter test in MotoGP and I can only improve in the future. The arm on which I had surgery on this past winter doesn’t hurt anymore and my physical condition, notwithstanding the heat of these days, seems to be in good conditions. I look forward to come back on track at the end of the month here in Malaysia.”
Mika Kallio – Pramac Racing:
“Likely this was just a winter test. We tried many changes on the bike set up, but we had some difficulties to improve the situation and for this reason we lost a lot of time working on our bikes in the garage. We will have to give our best in the next test so that things can change. We are too far from the firsts and our goal is to remain consistently between top 10 riders in every single session.”
Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki:
“I was quite happy with the lap-time and the consistent rhythm on the first day, because we know there is still a lot to come from the Factory for this year’s bike. We were able to test two new chassis and we are now much clearer on our direction to improve more. I go to the Suzuki Factory before the next test, so I will be able to give some more direct feedback to the engineering group. I got quite frustrated today, because I always want to go quicker and the work today was really detailed stuff – but we have to improve the bike so I have to do it! I am excited for the next test to see what our guys can come up with, including the new engine spec, and I want to keep improving.”
Álvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki:
“It was a good test and I managed to learn a lot. This was my first time here on the MotoGP bike after a long time without riding, and it was amazing how much faster everything seemed to happen compared to the 250! Day one just felt like starting all over again! I made steps with my speed and it was a shame we lost some practice this morning due to the rain, but even with this the team improved the feeling of the bike a lot and now I think I can start to push more . I am now looking forward to the next test and we certainly have a good base, and I feel ready to work when we get back to Sepang later this month.”