MotoGP riders spent an extra day at Brno to run the third official test of the season. Following on the heels of his first ever MotoGP podium, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow continued to shine at the Czech circuit, posting the fastest lap time of the day. The British rider spent most of test working to improve race consistency. Teammate Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest rider in the morning session, and he spent the time dialing-in his front suspension and engine settings to improve his mid-corner speed. Satisfied with his results, Dovi sat out the afternoon session.
“It was a good test and I was really pleased with my times,” said Crutchlow. “We did the whole morning and the first run of the afternoon on the same rear tire and it was an old one from qualifying on Saturday. I did a 56.9 on it, which is basically as fast as my race pace and it had 44 laps on it. We tried some different settings but the only problem I have with this bike now is we make some big changes but the lap time is the same, so you never know which direction to go in. In practice for the race on Friday I struggled with the hard tire but today I tested it again and I was lot faster and consistent as well, so that was a big positive. We can leave Brno really happy because it has been a great weekend.”
Third fastest on the day was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. He was the first to hit the track in the morning, aboard his current 2012 YZR-M1 but just before lunch he set out on an all-black 2013 prototype rolling-chassis. Equipped with the same engine he’s been running this season, the new bike, according to Lorenzo, didn’t offer much in the way of improvements from his current package.
Jorge Lorenzo aboard the all-black 2013 prototype YZR-M1 during testing at Brno, his first ride on the new bike.
“We tried the 2013 bike today, for the moment it’s a prototype so not the final one,” said Lorenzo. “The engineers will now take the data away to prepare for our next test. We also worked on braking which was where I struggled with Dani during yesterday’s race. We found something a bit better which should help us gain some tenths of a second.”
Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies “had less to test,” according to a Yamaha PR, and he spent the session running through different settings to his base set-up to try and improve his overall performance for the rest of the season. He posted the seventh fastest time for the day and only ran 15 laps.
“There was not so much for us to do today; we spent some time this morning working on the base set up of the bike which completed our test schedule,” said Spies. “We’ll go to Aragon next week to continue and see if it helps us for the next race in Misano.”
Brno winner Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda was fourth fastest and tried out a number of new parts for his RC213V. Pedrosa ran alongside World Superbike Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea, who filled in for the injured Casey Stoner. Rea is set to fill in for Stoner in subsequent races and had a fair amount of work to do to get the bike tuned to his preference. He was able to improve his time by two seconds over the course of the session and finished with the eighth-fastest time of the day.
World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea on the RC213V, filling in for Casey Stoner during testing at Brno.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I’m thankful to Honda for asking me to be here, although I’m gutted for the guys in the team and obviously for Casey as he is the guy that should be here and I wish him a fast recovery,” said Rea. “My first impressions are that the bike isn’t that difficult, it’s the tires and the way they work that I’m finding hard. I’m struggling to finish off the corner which is definitely a confidence issue as I just need to load the front and find that confidence but it’s my first day and I don’t want to find that limit, or risk overstepping it just yet. It’s great to be able to see Dani’s data and learn where to go fast, that’s a big help.”
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl worked to improve his rear grip and also tested new front suspension and rear shocks. The rookie was fifth fastest and was followed by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who tuned his Showa suspension with Showa technicians in an effort to remedy the handling issues he’s had over the season.
In the CRT field, Moto2 rider Julian Simon put in laps on Yonny Hernandez’s spare Avintia Blusens BQR-FTR machine. Simon crashed hard just before the lunch break, but luckily was able to walk away without any serious injury. Mike Di Meglio of Moto2 took Ivan Silva’s bike to the track, running his first laps on a premier class bike.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards ran tests on the Speed Master ART as he continues to find a solution to the disappointing season he’s had so far aboard the BMW/Suter CRT mount. Edwards stated afterward that he and team boss Giovanni Cuzari will discuss switching from the Suter machine to the ART for the next contest at Misano.
Ex-MotoGP star Loris Capriossi, currently the MotoGP Safety Officer, tested a number of bikes including Bautista’s RC213V, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro’s FTR, Edwards’ Suter-BMW as well as the BQR-FTR.
MotoGP Brno Test Results 2012:
1. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’56.461 (Lap 43/47)
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1’56.578 (30/31)
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’56.699 (46/54)
4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’56.703 (17/45)
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’57.156 (52/69)
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’57.161 (32/62)
7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’57.474 (6/15)
8. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’59.595 (60/61)
9. Yonny Hernandez (FTR) 1’59.743 (37/40)
10. Ivan Silva (FTR) 2’0.667 (18/83)
11. Michele Pirro (FTR) 2’0.863 (9/33)
12. Loris Capirossi (Suter) 2’2.049 (3/5)
13. Colin Edwards (ART) 2’3.143 (19/29)