MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 1 at Sepang II

02/28/2012 @ 4:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Returning to Malaysia for a second round of testing, MotoGP’s first day at Sepang was delayed by torrential rain. Coping with the water and intense humidity, MotoGP riders did get to spend some laps around the Southeast Asian circuit, with Casey Stoner once again dominating the time sheet. Apparently not getting the memo that fatherhood makes you slower on the race track, Stoner was the only rider to get into the 2’01 lap times, and did so seemingly at will during his 16 lap testing day. Second quickest was teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was a quarter second back, while Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was over half a second back from Stoner, and third quickest for the day. Noticeably quick was Alvaro Bautista, who continues his dark horse status, as the Spaniard was fifth quickest and even bested Nicky Hayden, who lead the Ducati contingency.

“It was really hard to leave Switzerland,” said new father Casey Stoner. “Ally woke up for a feed at the same time as I was leaving for the airport and I didn’t really want to leave. The first day of testing has gone well. We started off where we left last time, but the track conditions have been a little worse. We have some work to do. This morning we managed to compare a few things back to back. We’ve tried a new set of brake discs to try and reduce the brake fade that I’ve been having at the last test, so that’s been an improvement. We’re trying a few other things with set up to shorten the wheelbase and get a little more traction. We have a couple of things we can try to change the stiffness and also move the weight around a little bit to try and upset the chatter and reduce the frequency. This afternoon I have no doubt we would have gone a second or a second and a half faster, but the rain came out and the track didn’t dry up enough to warrant going out, so we’ll wait until tomorrow.”

For the Yamaha contingency, the factory Yamaha squad tested a number of different engine configurations, hoping to make a decision on which engine design to go with for the 2012 season. Other testing items included different settings to help a chattering problem, which seems to be affecting all the teams at Sepang this season. On the satellite Yamahas, Cal Crutchlow continued to improve on the 1,000cc Yamaha YZR-M1, while noticeably absent from the top of the time sheet was Andrea Dovizioso, who was over two seconds off Stoner’s pace, and eleventh fastest for the day.

“Everything was good this morning; we were just waiting for the weather to improve in the afternoon,” commented Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. “The Yamaha engineers delivered a lot for us to test again, it’s important we go the right way with the parts and not worry too much about what everyone else is doing. We have to focus on the task at hand which is what we’re doing and getting through all the updates methodically. We will keep working and hope for some good weather in the next two days.”

For Ducati Corse, the shaking down of the factory-spec Ducati Desmosedici GP12 continued, though little progress was made because of the weather. Still recovering from his shoulder injury, Nicky Hayden was able to lap Sepang, and confirm that his shoulder was healing nicely. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi took advantage of the wet weather to try the newly revised GP12 in the wet conditions. Unable to get more progress because of a lack of tires, the team tomorrow hopes to make headway on a new software package that Ducati Corse has brought out to Sepang for testing.

“Paradoxically, we actually started too early this morning!” explained Valentino Rossi. “It would’ve been better to start at 11 like the others, because before that the asphalt was quite dirty, and by the time the conditions started to improve, the tyre already had about fifteen laps on it. We decided to save the second tyre for the afternoon, but it started raining after lunch. As a result, we didn’t get much done today. We didn’t even start working with the new software that we have available for this test. On the plus side, we were able to confirm that the feeling in the wet is still pretty good with the GP12. Weather permitting, and with a couple more tyres at our disposal, I think that tomorrow we’ll be able to work a little more comprehensively and understand things a bit more.”

Test Results from Day 1 at the Second Sepang Test in Malaysia:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Diff. to LeaderLaps
1Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team2:01.76116
2Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:02.005+0.244+0.24436
3Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:02.436+0.431+0.67522
4Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:02.819+0.383+1.05831
5Alvaro BautistaSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:02.959+0.140+1.19824
6Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:03.132+0.173+1.37155
7Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.213+0.081+1.45227
8Valentino RossiDucati Team2:03.245+0.032+1.48439
9Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:03.612+0.367+1.85124
10Stefan BradlLCR Honda2:03.820+0.208+2.05931
11Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:03.830+0.010+2.06923
12Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.510+1.680+3.74925
13Franco BattainiCardion AB Motoracing2:05.563+0.053+3.80211
14Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:08.109+2.546+6.34832
15Yonny HernándezAvintia Racing2:08.767+0.658+7.00616

Ducati Corse Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

Yamaha Racing Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

HRC Testing at Sepang II – Day 1

Source: MotoGP; Photos: Ducati, HRC, & Yamaha

  • MikeD

    Someone call the Fire Department…this first time dad is ON FIRE. Good Speed to him.
    Show the non-believers that is not luck and chance BUT SKILLS AND GUTS…and one seriously fast 1000cc V4 Ride…p.s (Im no Honda Fan-boy, as a matter of fact i usually come across as a Honda Hater)…i don’t care for any of their products…so far.

  • keiths

    is that the new AGV helmet in Rossi’s pic!!!! looks killer!!!

  • Dawg

    No real surprises. Good to see Nicky putting in so many laps. He’s obviously working hard and still hungry.

    No Aprilias?

  • The Rossi pictures says all:

    “Hey, c**ksu**ers fans, buy my new helmet, fill my pockets muwahahahaha”

    I’ve heard Pedrosa have an engine problem, and Honda will retire from Sepang… whatever. =(

  • MikeD

    @Fred Santos:

    I’ll take it by your name maybe u can read spanish…? If so, HERE…

  • MikeD, i can read spanish, but i’m more “proficient” in english.

    btw, i’m brazilian. Love motorbikes and MGP/SBK…. discovered the site weeks ago, and everyday i’m here. A very, very nice website.