MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 2: Weather Throws a Wrench

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The second day of the special CRT test at Sepang, laid on to allow the teams using the brand new Magneti Marelli spec-ECU, was as beset by problems as the first day. If technical problems and a lack of parts had been the bane of day 1, it was the weather which dogged the teams, though technical problems persisted.

Heavy rain in the morning meant that only Danilo Petrucci went to put in a few laps before running into an electrical issue with a coil left the engine running on two cylinders. The rain stopped in the afternoon, but the track remained wet, leaving the riders present to do only a few laps.

Petrucci ended the day fastest – though his best time of 2’23.546 is fairly meaningless at a track where the race lap record is 2’02, and the pole record 2’00 – but frustrated at having not been able to get much work done. The electrical problems left him stranded in the pits in the morning, while teammate Lukas Pesek took the only Magneti Marelli ECU the team currently has at their disposal in the afternoon.

Though Petrucci could have gone out with the old Bosch electronics for his BMW Suter (the bike being unchanged), it was not judged worth the effort. “Using the old electronics is not real work for us,” Petrucci told “We want to find the real problem with the new ECU, to be ready for the next tests.”

For Pesek, his laps were mostly about getting comfortable on the bike, not having ridden a Grand Prix machine for two seasons. Pesek needs time to learn the chassis, the engine and the tires, more than the electronics.

Learning the tires was difficult. Nobody put in any laps on slicks, as the wet track forced everyone to use rain tires. The teams also had to deal with technical issues, as they continued to work on wiring harness issues which Hector Barbera, for one, had suffered with.

Barbera ended the day with 20 laps under his belt, the issues being resolved towards the end. Barbera’s Avintia Blusens teammate Hiroshi Aoyama decided against putting any laps on Monday, the Japanese rider not wanting to risk further injury on his damaged wrist.

Over in the Forward Racing garage, Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti also managed to get in a few laps, 7 for Edwards, 8 for Corti, after the team finally received all of the new parts they needed to complete the bikes. But Forward, too, struggled with set up issues with the spec-ECU.

Tomorrow, the CRT teams will be joined by the rest of the MotoGP grid, as all of the riders take to the track for the first official test of 2013. The CRTs will be able to continue their work without the full glare of publicity, as the attention of the fans and the media turns to the genuine contenders for 2013.

With Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl on track, the real battle of 2013 commences.

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.