Sepang 1 Test, Day 1 Times, Rossi Leads Stoner

The rain that threatened to ruin the first day of testing for 2010 luckily decided to stay away, but the session was still disrupted by the weather. Instead of water, it was the oppressive 40°C tropical heat that sapped the strength of the riders, limiting the amount of testing the riders could do. The rain finally came just before 5pm to cool the track from the scorching 50° Centigrade it was at most of the day, though only adding to the humidity.

Valentino Rossi ended the day with the fastest time, a comfortable half a second ahead of Casey Stoner on the Ducati. Stoner had suffered chatter for part of the day, and the hot asphalt made it difficult to judge the difference adjustments to the bike were making. The riders in 3rd and 4th place were a big surprise, Colin Edwards' 3rd spot slightly less so than Loris Capirossi's 4th fastest time. It's clear the Yamaha is good, but even the satellite bikes are so good that on their day, they can match the speed of the factory bikes, Edwards finishing ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and nearly a quarter of a second faster.

Loris Capirossi also edged ahead of Lorenzo, but only by a few hundredths of a second. The Italian veteran was testing a new chassis on the Suzuki GSV-R, which has more flexibility built in offering more edge grip. The chassis had proved successful in the cooler climes of the Estoril test in November, and seems to be working in the tropical Malaysian heat.

Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest of the Hondas 6th spot, a couple of tenths ahead of his team mate Dani Pedrosa. Nicky Hayden was sandwiched between the two Repsol bikes, continuing his slow improvement on the Marlboro Ducati.

The fastest of the rookies was Hector Barbera, continuing his impressive form on the Aspar Ducati. The Spanish rookie's day got off to a rocky start, as the Aspar team arrived at the track to find that thieves had ransacked their garage, taking all of the computers from the pit box, including the server containing all of the data the team has from previous tests. By the end of the day, Barbera was over his difficult start and in 10th position, ahead of Aleix Espargaro and the Texan Ben Spies. Spies had tried to temper expectations of the tests before they started, telling the official MotoGP.com website that he was in no rush to set fast times. Given Spies methodical way of working at Valencia, the improvements are likely to be slow and subtle.

Honda once again brings up the tail of the timesheet, with only Suzuki rookie Alvaro Bautista separating the four satellite RC212Vs of Randy de Puniet, Marcos Simoncelli and Melandri, and Hiroshi Aoyama. The gap between the bottom five is negligible, less than two tenths of a second.

Testing continues tomorrow.

Times, courtesy of GPOne.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Previous Fastest Total
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2'01.411 0.000 0.000 15 54
2 Casey Stoner Ducati 2'01.902 0.491 0.491 12 42
3 Colin Edwards Yamaha 2'01.932 0.521 0.030 23 48
4 Loris Capirossi Suzuki 2'02.102 0.691 0.170 21 58
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2'02.165 0.754 0.063 56 57
6 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 2'02.630 1.219 0.465 18 51
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2'02.792 1.381 0.162 22 46
8 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2'02.866 1.455 0.074 50 52
9 Mika Kallio Ducati 2'02.987 1.576 0.121 70 70
10 Hector Barbera Ducati 2'03.030 1.619 0.043 57 59
11 Aleix Espargaro Ducati 2'03.133 1.722 0.103 53 54
12 Ben Spies Yamaha 2'03.142 1.731 0.009 53 55
13 Randy De Puniet Honda 2'03.456 2.045 0.314 52 62
14 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 2'03.558 2.147 0.102 35 51
15 Marco Simoncelli Honda 2'03.563 2.152 0.005 19 54
16 Marco Melandri Honda 2'03.609 2.198 0.046 17 50
17 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 2'03.651 2.240 0.042 40 66
18 Yamaha Test Rider Yamaha 2'05.732 4.321 2.081 16 40
19 Yamaha Test Rider Yamaha 2'06.206 4.795 0.474 25 36

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Comments

Back in action....Praise Jesus
Kind of thought the Marco's mightve been higher.
Too early, and too finicky weather to make any assumptions, but it's nice to see the Duc's off the bottom of the barrel.

Total votes: 138

is it me or do suzuki always show well in pre season and end up being crap

Total votes: 156

Well done Colin & Loris. Lets hope this is a sign of good things to come, especially for Suzuki.

Total votes: 136

Noticed that Super Sic only got in 28 laps. More than half as few as several others. Whats up with that ??

Total votes: 138

It looks like Preziosi might be the hero of the day. 4 Ducati's in the top ten. Has that ever happened before? And Stoner doesn't seem to have suffered much from the changes.

Some numbers:

.............AVG .........%
..........position......In top 10
Yamaha.....5.3..........75%
Ducati.......7.8..........80%
Suzuki.......9............50%
Honda......12.5.........33%

Total votes: 135

Rats...For accuracy i'd remove the test riders. They're 2 seconds behind the pack.
Motodog....28 laps for melandri, not superquaff. Which makes it even stranger.

Suzuki always give a good showing at Sepang, I hope it continues.
I don't think it will.

Total votes: 136

Good point. I actually thought I did. I have corrected the numbers.

Total votes: 136

I fixed the numbers of laps ridden by Melandri. It was 50, not 28.

Total votes: 143

No problem...thanks for cruching the #'s

On another note...it's such a shame that it seems that, once a year, one of the large series' has a theft...
Are they insured by the manufacturer, team, or venue?

I hope they get caught.

Total votes: 143

Thanks Rats............
Just noticed that. Saw where Melandri said they started out with their Jerez setting (?) and got off in the wrong direction...

Total votes: 149

Just for comparison, I took three random FP1 sessions from throughout 2009 and came up with these numbers:

................AVG .........%
..............position......In top 10
Yamaha......4.8.......100.0%
Honda.........9.2........44.4%
Suzuki.......10.3.......66.7%
Ducati........11.3.......30.8%

Total votes: 132

It looks like this is going to be a great year.
Fantastic four + a crop of very competitive young talent in the following pack.
If Ducati have effectively made the bike easier to ride and Honda improves the satellite machines it is going to be ultra competitve.

On my count, 12 of the riders are either GP or WSBK champions.

Total votes: 137