Continuing our thought on who really was fastest at the Qatar test, the idea of comparing best lap times again seems more than moderately preposterous, considering last night’s sessions were for testing purposes. That’s not to say however that some basic understanding of how teams are shaping up before the season cannot be divined, and by looking at the individual lap times we can get at least an impression of whom is finding some consistency on the desert track.
Again starting with MotoGP’s listing with the riders ranked by their best lap time from Day Two of testing in Qatar, we see a strong showing by the Hondas, with a Yamaha and a Ducati sprinkled in there for good measure. The Hondas are certainly there as far as speed goes, and Randy de Puniet’s style seems to be meshing well with the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, while the Yamaha effort has seemingly been lead by sophomore Ben Spies, and not reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
|Pos.||Rider||Team||Fastest lap||Prev. Gap||Lead. Gap||Laps|
|1||Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda Team||1:55.681||–||–||46|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||1:55.745||+0.064||+0.064||39|
|3||Ben Spies||Yamaha Factory Racing||1:56.294||+0.549||+0.613||45|
|4||Marco Simoncelli||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1:56.433||+0.139||+0.752||70|
|5||Andrea Dovizioso||Repsol Honda Team||1:56.439||+0.006||+0.758||58|
|6||Randy De Puniet||Pramac Racing Team||1:56.445||+0.006||+0.764||67|
|7||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||1:56.707||+0.262||+1.026||48|
|8||Colin Edwards||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:56.716||+0.009||+1.035||57|
|9||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Marlboro Team||1:56.726||+0.010||+1.045||68|
|10||Hiroshi Aoyama||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1:56.740||+0.014||+1.059||73|
|11||Hector Barbera||Mapfre Aspar Team||1:56.798||+0.058||+1.117||62|
|12||Alvaro Bautista||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||1:56.931||+0.133||+1.250||63|
|13||Valentino Rossi||Ducati Marlboro Team||1:56.988||+0.057||+1.307||50|
|14||Loris Capirossi||Pramac Racing Team||1:57.345||+0.357||+1.664||62|
|15||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:57.730||+0.385||+2.049||28|
|16||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||1:57.846||+0.116||+2.165||49|
|17||Toni Elias||LCR Honda MotoGP||1:58.536||+0.690||+2.855||57|
However if we reshuffle the rankings, using an ordering system that takes into account the number of laps done at a certain pace (some tweaking was done to account for the number of laps ridden, and obvious last minute runs done purely for posting a good time), a new order emerges that suggests who is capable of sustaining the blistering speeds seen in the desert night. Day Two of testing at Qatar sees the order more or less stay the same at the top and bottom of the time sheet, while the middle sees a bit of a reorganization.
Perhaps most alarming is Valentino Rossi’s position behind teammate Nicky Hayden & satellite rider De Puniet. Meanwhile Lorenzo’s “awful” session doesn’t look nearly as bad, as the Spaniard spent most of the evening lapping around in the 1:57’s, and touching the 1:56’s almost as often as his teammate. Still not a good showing, but not as bad as he made it out to be in the press debriefs.
Most impressive were the Gresini Hondas, with Marco Simoncelli showing potential to keep up with the pace, assuming Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa don’t find themselves at the front of the pack, and able to check-out from the race completely. The newly crowned “factory” riders lapped the most around Losail, and showed not only improvement throughout the night, be eery repetition of lap times.
In other news Toni Elias actually went slower on his second day at Qatar, raising more than a few eyebrows, and bringing up questions as to why he raced in Moto2 last year.
|1||Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda Team||1’55.681||4||16||7||46|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||1’55.745||7||11||1||39|
|3||Marco Simoncelli||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’56.433||16||9||0||70|
|4||Ben Spies||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.294||4||8||0||45|
|5||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.707||27||5||0||48|
|6||Andrea Dovizioso||Repsol Honda Team||1’56.439||21||5||0||58|
|7||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Marlboro Team||1’56.726||18||6||0||68|
|8||Hiroshi Aoyama||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’56.740||26||2||0||73|
|9||Randy De Puniet||Pramac Racing Team||1’56.445||18||2||0||67|
|10||Alvaro Bautista||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||1’56.931||17||1||0||63|
|11||Valentino Rossi||Ducati Marlboro Team||1’56.988||14||1||0||50|
|12||Colin Edwards||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’56.716||9||3||0||57|
|13||Hector Barbera||Mapfre Aspar Team||1’56.798||4||2||0||62|
|14||Loris Capirossi||Pramac Racing Team||1’57.345||3||0||0||62|
|15||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’57.730||2||0||0||28|
|16||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||1’57.846||1||0||0||49|
|17||Toni Elias||LCR Honda MotoGP||1’58.536||0||0||0||57|
Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved