2009 Sepang Test - Day 1 Times Final - Capirossi Smashes Lap Record

The work that Suzuki have done on their GSV-R over the winter seems to be paying off. After the deadly duo of Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi had led for most of the day, Capirossi put in a final fast lap to top the timesheets. And what a lap: over quarter of a second under Stoner's existing lap record. Suzuki have been impressive at Sepang before, putting in a strong showing here at the beginning of the 2007 season, and it looks like they have found some of the speed they lost last year, although it must be said that the Sepang track's lack of very long fast sweepers suits the Suzuki very well. With Capirossi appearing wearing standard Suzuki leathers, it looks like Rizla will not be renewing its deal, though you have to wonder whether a good result from testing here might help sway the argument.

Casey Stoner was second fastest, his scaphoid surgery apparently successful, as he was riding comfortably, and comfortably under the lap record. Valentino Rossi was in a little more discomfort from the stitches he has in his hand after falling over at home, but the Italian was still very fast, though 3/10ths slower than Stoner. Rossi suffered a fall earlier in the day, but escaped relatively uninjured. Capirossi's team mate Chris Vermeulen set the fourth fastest time, confirming Suzuki's form here in Malaysia.

The atmosphere in the factory Honda garage could be tested, as Toni Elias was the fastest of the Hondas, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso on the first of the official Repsol bikes. Dani Pedrosa, heavily tipped for the championship this year, only managed the eighth fastest time, 1.5 seconds behind Capirossi. Sete Gibernau was fastest of the other Ducatis, 1.75 seconds behind Casey Stoner, but a quarter of a second ahead of Stoner's Marlboro Ducati team mate Nicky Hayden, who finished 11th.

Testing continues tomorrow.

No.RiderBikeTimeFast LapTotal Laps
1Loris CapirossiSuzuki2'01.8693737
2Casey StonerDucati2'02.0383134
3Valentino RossiYamaha2'02.3242631
4Chris VermeulenSuzuki2'02.8034055
5Toni EliasHonda2'02.8865252
6Andrea DoviziosoHonda2'03.0884450
7Colin EdwardsYamaha2'03.2541534
8Dani PedrosaHonda2'03.3123344
9Sete GibernauDucati2'03.7505054
10Jorge LorenzoYamaha2'03.8943161
11Nicky HaydenDucati2'04.0025960
12Alex De AngelisHonda2'04.3964853
13Mika KallioDucati2'04.4055260
14James ToselandYamaha2'04.5023434
15Randy De PunietHonda2'04.8824661
16Norihiko FujiwaraYamaha2'05.0244647
17Yuki TakahashiHonda2'05.0986173
18Waturu YoshikawaYamaha2'05.1402044
19Niccolo CanepaDucati2'05.2704145

Lap record: 2007, Casey Stoner, 2'02.108

Video of Toni Elias' 2009 factory spec Honda, courtesy of GPOne.com's Youtube channel:

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Comments

From the discussion about satellite Hondas: "They would be better directing their wrath at Suzuki, whose pair of bikes is a travesty compared to what the other teams are doing."

Er, um...well, hmmm.

I meant that in terms of numbers, rather than performance. But it does look a bit out of place if you put it like that! ;-)