The second day of testing at Valencia for the Aspar and Speed Master teams saw all three Aprilia-mounted riders improve their times significantly, despite conditions being much worse. Temperatures dropped significantly from yesterday, and a cold wind picked up making the track too cold to ride during the morning, the riders only taking to the track at noon. Randy de Puniet was fastest once again, ahead of his Aspar teammate Aleix Espargaro and Speed Master's Mattia Pasini, but both newcomers closed the gap significantly to the French MotoGP veteran, Espargaro getting to within seven tenths of De Puniet, Pasini wthin a second and a half.
De Puniet dived under the 1'35 barrier, posting a time of 1'34.9 and closing in on the time he set on the Ducati GP11 at the Valencia race event last November. Espargaro came close to matching De Puniet's time from yesterday, while Pasini matched the Spaniard's time from Monday. The progress was mainly down to the work being done on electronics, as both the Aspar and the Speed Master team work to match the Aprilia's electronics package to the Bridgestone tires. All three riders hailed the potential the Aprilia showed, despite the cold conditions.
As the CRT bikes currently in Sepang struggle, the Aprilias at Valencia appear to be pointing the way. Most of all, they are highlighting the crucial role that electronics play in modern motorcycle racing. With factory input on a set of electronics developed for World Superbikes - and barely less complex than factory MotoGP systems - the Aprilias are looking like they will be a serious concern for the satellite riders this season by mid-season. The next test - at Jerez on February 20th - should reveal a lot more about the progress the Aprilias have made.
Unofficial test times from day 2 at Valencia, courtesy of the circuit Twitter feed:
|Randy de Puniet||Aprilia ART||1:34.9|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia ART||1:35.6||0.7|
|Mattia Pasini||Aprilia ART||1:36.7||1.4|
Comparison of day 2 times compared to the Valencia test and practice for the 2011 Valencia race:
|Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||1:31.807||1000 test|
|Randy de Puniet||Ducati GP11||1:33.118||1.311||1.311||Valencia QP|
|Randy de Puniet||Suzuki 800||1:33.544||1.737||0.426||1000 test|
|Randy de Puniet||Ducati GP11||1:33.743||1.936||0.199||Valencia FP3|
|Randy de Puniet||Aprilia ART||1:34.900||3.093||1.157||CRT test|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia ART||1:35.600||3.793||0.700||CRT test|
|Carmelo Morales||Suter BMW||1:35.911||4.104||0.311||1000 test|
|Mattia Pasini||Aprilia ART||1:36.700||4.893||0.789||CRT test|
Improvement from day 1 to day 2:
|Rider||Bike||Day 1||Day 2||Improvement|
|Randy de Puniet||Aprilia ART||1:35.3||1:34.9||0.4|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia ART||1:36.7||1:35.6||1.1|
|Mattia Pasini||Aprilia ART||1:37.8||1:36.7||1.1|
Speed Master Press Release:
POSITIVE START FOR SPEED MASTER TEAM IN THE MOTOGP CLASS
The first two days of 2012 MotoGP tests ended today for Speed Master Team, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit of Valencia.
The first outing for the ART machine was satisfying for the team, giving them the chance to discuss with the Aprilia technicians and to discover the characteristics of the CRT bike that they will be using during 2012 season in the top class.
This initial occasion was essential to understand the motorbike electronics and move the first steps towards the beginning of the season. Mattia Pasini had the chance to start working with the crew that will be with him during this season and to begin adapting to the 1000cc.
"This was a shakedown for us and we were aware of the type of work we had to do. Our objective for these two days is achieved: we focused on the electronics, we learnt the first few things about the bike and its performance on Bridgestone tyres and, what's more, we got to know each other as a team. With the data we gathered in this test, we can start arranging our working plan for the next one and keep learning things related to this class and machine. There are various new things we have to work on, but I'm satisfied with this first track days and I believe we fulfilled the aim for this outing."