The first official post-season MotoGP test at Valencia was ruled by Dani Pedrosa aboard his Honda RC213V.
As quick as the 2011 MotoGP Championship ended preparations for the upcoming season have already begun. The Valencia circuit in Spain was roaring with the sound of 1000cc engines during the first two-day test, which saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa take the fastest lap 0.136 seconds ahead of 2011 champ, Casey Stoner. The two teammates were riding Honda’s RC213V, which the duo previously tested at Brno back in August.
“We compared the bike that we tested in Jerez and Brno to the newer version we have here and we found quite a lot of improvements in some small ways with chattering,” said Stoner. “In general it was good to be out there on the 1000 and feel the horsepower, it’s a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to feeling it on a lot of different tracks!”
Meanwhile, Yamaha’s Ben Spies continued his impressive pace in Spain to finish third in the timesheets during Day 1. The American spent the day analyzing two different engine specifications on his M1 while completing 73 laps with a best time of 1’33.226.
“We confirmed which direction to go with in power delivery today which is good,” Spies said. “This is testing so we never got close to the limit with the bike; it’s about riding at 90% consistently to test the motorcycle.”
Frenchman Randy de Puniet made a surprise appearance aboard Rizla Suzuki’s GSV-R. De Puniet was given the opportunity to test the 800cc prototype design in order to provide feedback for Suzuki, and finished fourth in the books
De Puniet completed testing for Rizla Suzuki’s 1000cc design. There’s no official word yet on the Frenchman’s plans for 2012.
ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.
“I am very happy with the job I have done today and would like to thank Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity,” said De Puniet. “I was very impressed with the bike and I felt comfortable immediately and enjoyed it a lot. I would like to ride it next year, I’m not the boss, but I hope I did a good job for everybody!”
Meanwhile Valentino Rossi turned laps with Ducati’s experimental GP12 bike equipped with an aluminum perimeter frame. The Italian finished sixth-fastest after completing 71 laps. Fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso got his first taste of the Yamaha after finishing the session in seventh more than a second and a half off the pace of Pedrosa. He was followed by Hector Barbera, who recently announced his signing with Pramac Racing.
“I am very happy with this new adventure with the Pramac Racing and the Ducati 1000cc,” said Barbera. “We can feel a lot that the engine is more powerful, and from my point of view is much more fun to ride on track.”
Recently crowned Moto2 champ Stefan Bradl was also present at the test to complete his first laps aboard a premier class machine with LCR Honda’s RC212V. The German finished ninth on the sheets and recorded 62 laps at the Spanish circuit. Karel Abraham rounded out the top-10 times more than 2.2 seconds adrift.
2011 MotoGP Valencia Test Day 1 Results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:32.186
2. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:32.322
3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:33.226
4. Randy de Puniet (Suzuki) 1:33.544
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:33.652
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:33.857
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:33.859
8. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1:34.174
9. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:34.330
10. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1:34.393
11. Franco Battaini (Ducati) 1:35.371
12. Kousuke Akiyoshi (Honda) 1:35.728
13. Ivan Silva (BQR Inmotec) 1:37.159
14. Carmelo Morales (TeamLaglisse) 1:38.989
15. Gianluca Nannelli (Grillini Team) 1:39.173
16. Federico Sandi (Grillini Team) 1:39.827