Marco Simoncelli spent an extra day at Motegi after the Japanese Grand Prix, testing the 2012 Honda RC213V which he is to race next season. His test was made possible after the Italian signed a contract last week to remain with the San Carlo Gresini team, on a contract with HRC and with full factory support. Simoncelli put in around 50 laps at the Japanese circuit, recording lap times similar to the times set during the previous three days aboard the 800cc RC212V.
The test was important for Simoncelli, but perhaps just as important for HRC. So far, Casey Stoner has used three of Honda's eight days of extra testing for the new 1000cc MotoGP bikes, with Dani Pedrosa having had just one day of testing after Brno, and Stoner has repeatedly expressed his belief that it is important that other riders get to test the bike as well. Having Pedrosa's input was crucial to developing the 2012 bike, the Australian told reporters at Brno. Having input from Simoncelli, at the opposite end of the physical size spectrum from Pedrosa, and heavier than Stoner, should provide important data to HRC for the RC213V.
Honda now has three days of extra testing left for the RC213V, while Yamaha has another four days left, and Ducati only one. The two-day test at Valencia after the final round of the season is not included in the additional test days.
Below is the official press release from the San Carlo Gresini Honda team on the test:
SIMONCELLI COMPLETES HONDA RC213V TEST
After agreeing a new contract with San Carlo Honda Gresini and HRC at Motegi, Marco Simoncelli was back on track the day following a bittersweet Grand Prix to test the 1000cc bike he will ride next year. It was an important opportunity to discover the potential of the RC213V and give his feedback to HRC. It was a fun day for Marco, who now heads to the Philippines for a short break before the next round of the MotoGP World Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.
Marco Simoncelli "The big day finally arrived and I was able to test the bike I will be riding in Team San Carlo Honda Gresini colours next year. It was a fantastic experience to get out on the RC213V and I would like thank HRC for the opportunity. I completed 50 laps and quickly felt confident with the new bike, setting similar lap times to the RC212V. At the end of the day I gave my feedback and suggestions, which I hope will be important to development of the bike from here. Now I am taking some days off on the island of Boracay in the Philippines before the next race at Phillip Island."