After the torrential rain on Sunday evening, riders were not taking any chances with cool temperatures and a dirty track surface from high winds earlier last night. Without little surprise, lap times were well off record pace, and most riders were not taking any extra chances after seeing Chris Vermeulen, Dani Pedrosa and Mikka Kallio all crash out, and the track red flagged twice. Despite the carnage, Casey Stoner found himself on the top of the stack as the fastest rider of the day in the second round of testing at Qatar.
Casey Stoner may have sat out yesterday’s rain affected workout completely, but he was soon on the pace on the second evening. The Australian put in relatively few laps, but according to Livio Suppo, his wrist was holding up better than it had been previously, the surgery on his injured scaphoid slowly starting to heal. Stoner was testing a carbon fiber swingarm to go along with the carbon fiber frame, and from the times he set, it would they appear to be working.
Valentino Rossi was second fastest, though still 6/10ths behind Stoner, a big gap. But his arrears to Stoner had not left him without a sense of humor: Rossi appeared at the track with a comedy high-visibility yellow helmet, in the colors used by the emergency services in a number of countries.. Asked about the session, Rossi replied:
“Today was good because first of all we were able to test! I am quite happy because I was fast from the start and the bike is a lot better than this time last year. The setting is completely different after a year with Bridgestone and we seem to be in good shape. The lap times are quite slow compared to the race because it is cold and also the track conditions aren’t perfect, but hopefully in a month’s time it will be quite a bit warmer. We worked well today, testing some things for the engine and some electronics, and everything is helping us to improve our setting and to be faster. Now I hope that we have good weather between now and tomorrow night and no more wind so that the track is cleaner tomorrow and we can improve the times a bit more.”
The third quickest participant was veteran satellite Yamaha man Colin Edwards, whilst Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi completed the top five, as the Sepang pace-setters demonstrated their strengths again. Vermeulen crashed on turn six at around 8.30pm but was not hurt.
Results from Day 2 of the MotoGP Qatar Test:
|Pos.||Rider||Bike||Time||Fast Lap||Total Laps|
|8||Alex de Angelis||Honda||1’58.441||32||53|
|11||Randy de Puniet||Honda||1’58.936||44||55|
Current lap record is held by Casey Stoner who set it in the 2008 race, with a lap of 1?55.153