MotoGP Jerez Test Day 2 2012

March 24, 2012
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Nicky Hayden topped the timesheet during poor conditions on Day 2 of testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit.
Nicky Hayden topped the timesheet during poor conditions on Day 2 of testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit.

Poor weather hampered the second day of MotoGP testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit. Nicky Hayden topped the timesheet, one of a handful of riders to set out in the closing minutes on a drying track. The results were an unusual ordering of the GP results.

Cardion AB Ducati rider Karel Abraham and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies followed Hayden on the topsy turvy timesheet. Several CRT squads were able to vault up into the top 10 by taking advantage of the drying track.

Most riders focused on wet weather setups following an afternoon deluge. Some riders, like Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista and Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, turned their first wet laps on the 1000.

In the Repsol Honda camp, Dani Pedrosa made 25 laps – the Spaniard not known for his prowess in the rain. Casey Stoner on the other hand, only bothered with three laps in the dismal conditions. The Factory Yamaha’s went a little faster in the wet than their Honda counterparts.

Ducati test rider Franco Battaini put in the most laps (48) on the day, one of the first riders to venture out into the wind and rain. Hayden turned the most of any regular competitor (40 laps) en route to his timesheet topping finish.

Conditions are expected to improve for tomorrow’s final day of testing.

2012 MotoGP Jerez Test Day 2 Results:
1. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 1’40.755
2. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB) 1’41.661
3. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory) 1’41.726
4. Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) 1’42.711
5. Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing) 1’43.288
6. Ivan Silva (Avintia Racing) 1’43.613
7. Franco Battaini (Ducati Team) 1’44.264
8. Michele Pirro (Gresini Honda CRT) 1’44.761
9. James Ellison (Paul Bird Motorsport) 1’44.969
10. Danilo Petrucci (Came Ioda Racing) 1’45.336
11. Colin Edwards (Forward Racing) 1’47.968
12. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1’49.822
13. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory) 1’50.088
14. Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1’51.127
15. Andrea Dovizioso (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1’51.702
16. Mattia Pasini (Speed Master) 1’51.772
17. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) 1’51.778
18. Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) 1’51.856
19. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 1’51.910
20. Randy De Puniet (Team Aspar) 1’52.397
21. Aleix Espargaro (Team Aspar) 1’57.718


1. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team): “It’s a shame about the weather because I’d like to take advantage of as much time as possible to work on the bike, since I lost so much time in the past few months. That’s how it was today though, and it does no good to complain, especially since I had the chance to try the GP12 in the rain for the first time, improving my feeling little by little. We took a long break when the track started to dry out, and we put on the slicks at the end, even though there were still some wet patches out there. I was able to do a couple exits to try the two little changes that we’d planned yesterday. Considering that the conditions weren’t perfect, it’s positive that we quickly come close to my best time from yesterday. Now we hope the weather will let us work well tomorrow, because we’d like to improve some details before Qatar, especially with traction in the fast corners.”

3. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory): “It’s been a tough day but it’s been like that for everybody. Luckily we got a lot of stuff done yesterday, a simulation and most of the test settings. Today we just tested some wet set up stuff. I was quite happy with that, we didn’t get on the track when it was in prime condition for wet but good enough. As the track dried out we needed to wait a little to try one thing in the dry. We know what we need to do for tomorrow so we’re hoping for good weather.”

4. Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda): “It has been a similar day to the second test at Sepang in Malaysia but we at least managed to get some laps in the wet and the first impressions are good because I have confidence in the bike so that’s positive. Then the track started to dry out but there was no point riding because the wet tires just tore up. In the final 30 minutes we got some track time and I was happy with what we achieved but it wasn’t really dry. In conclusion is hasn’t been a productive day so we just have to hope for better conditions tomorrow.”

5. Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing): “When I went out to try my Ducati, riding with wet condition, the track was already damp. We made some test to try the wet set-up, but unfortunately the weather changed quickly. The highlight spot was that today we spent our time to improve my confidence with these unexpected weather conditions. Today’s weather was the same as the 2011 race here, therefore the team’s work of the day was important, thinking about the new season. I also tried the new chassis of my Ducati and, to be honest, it is better than the old one, because I can ride, maintaining a good line.”

8. Michele Pirro (Gresini Honda CRT): “A real shame because with such a young bike it is important for us to get some laps but the weather has played us a bad hand today. We have lost a day of testing and will have to try and make it up tomorrow, which makes life difficult. Patience! We managed to get some laps in the final 30 minutes even though the conditions weren’t perfect and at least got some information to work from tomorrow.”

12. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): “I decided to go out when it started raining properly because it’s always good to get some information about the behavior of the bike in wet conditions before the beginning of the season, and even more important with a new bike. Obviously, the setup of the bike was pretty standard on chassis and electronics, but I had good feelings riding it, the bike worked well and it gives me confidence. If it’s not raining tomorrow we will go back to the testing program we had planned for today: basically to try some new ideas for the chassis and the electronics and if we have time I’d like to do a race simulation. Everything has been positive and smooth so far, so let’s hope to close the preseason with a good result.”

13. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory): “Today we started late because of the weather so we only managed to do 25 or 30 laps in wet conditions. Now we know that the bike is working quite well and is competitive, we were in second place in the wet behind Dani and the next rider, Cal, was a second behind. We still need to work on our electronics as we haven’t got the perfect solution for Qatar. For tomorrow we haven’t got anything new but we need to decide whether to put away some parts.”

14. Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha): “I’ve never ridden the 1000 in the rain so it was important to get a few laps under my belt today. I only did 16-laps though because it is pointless taking too many risks with the first race so close. The surface wasn’t actually completely wet when I was out because this track dries so quickly but the first impression of the bike in the wet is really positive. With the extra power it is challenging to ride but I don’t think more difficult than the 800. Our chassis is quite similar to the 800, so it felt similar but the 1000 bike is definitely a handful. It is a handful to ride in the dry, so it is the same in the wet but I enjoyed it. The big positive today is I only used one set of rain tires and I think some of the others used three. I think if I had put in a new tire I could have been fastest in the rain. Hopefully the weather is much better tomorrow because I’ve got a few things to try. I was fast yesterday without trying the new Bridgestone front tires, so I think there is some time to be gained with those.”

15. Andrea Dovizioso (Tech 3 Yamaha): “I felt in much better physical shape than yesterday, so it was a pity that the weather meant we were unable to test the bike in the dry. When I was on track today the surface wasn’t fully wet but it was good experience and it was very important to test in the wet again because the grip is less than in Malaysia. It was an interesting experience and we learned some good information that will help for the future. Hopefully tomorrow we will have dry conditions so we can continue the work of the first day. My feeling with the bike in this track is not the same as in Malaysia, so it is important we can try and improve tomorrow. We used the new red light that you have to use in the wet and I think in some places it will be a good step for the safety. We need to see in a race situation when there are a lot of bikes, but in a situation like the rain in Silverstone last year where the conditions were really difficult, it will be good to use the light.”

17. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda): “Well, today we could not lap so much because of the bad weather conditions but as soon as it started to rain consistently we went out for a couple of laps. Immediately I had a good feeling with the bike, the tires and everything was good from the beginning. Then we made a change to make the bike turn easier and it worked: we went out on another set of tires that had me lapping comfortably and I could improve the lap time quite easy. Unfortunately the asphalt was not fully wet so this means that you destroy the tires too quickly and we have decided to finish the session earlier. We’ll see if the weather is sunny tomorrow for the last outing.”

18. Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda): “We realized that the weather conditions weren’t really suitable for what we needed to work on today so we decided to wait for the heavier rain, which never appeared. We went out briefly but realized it wasn’t really wet enough to work on anything regarding wet set-up and there was no reason for us to stay out on track and ruin sets of tires. They were 50/50 conditions and you never set up a bike for these circumstances. I hope the weather improves tomorrow so we can continue our plan.”

19. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team): “I’m sorry to have lost practically the entire day of testing, even if we still did three exits with wet tires and a wet setup, to confirm the feelings we had in similar conditions at the last test. Otherwise, there’s not much to say. We couldn’t work well today, but the forecast for tomorrow is better, so we hope to be able to continue working on the setup that we identified at the end of the day yesterday.” 

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