2011 MotoGP Sepang 1 Day 2 Press Release Round Up

Here are the press releases issued after the second day of testing at Sepang: 


REPSOL HONDA MAINTAIN MOMENTUM

Testing resumed today at the Malaysian Sepang racetrack on Day 2 of the first official three-day test of the year, with all three Repsol Honda riders claiming top 4 po sitions.

Dani Pedrosa had a fantastic start, setting a time of 2.00.770 on only his fourth lap which proved to be quickest of the day - only 2 tenths off the circuit best lap set by Valentino Rossi at the Malaysian Grand Prix 2009. Pedrosa then spent the remainder of the day focusing on testing different chassis set up, the new engine and together with Ohlins technicians, some set up work on the suspension.

Stoner and his team spent the morning working on improving the brake stability issue that arose on Day 1.  After lunch, comparison work was done on the 2011 frame and a new one with a few different characteristics.

Dovizioso continued to test the 2011 chassis, also working closely with the Ohlins technicians, to better understand the 2011 forks and the geometry of the machine to decrease the vibration issue in the mid corners. He also tested different electronics maps.

DANI PEDROSA – 1st - 2.00.770

"I think it's the first time I've ridden so fast on this track, but you're just fresh in the morning and I did four very good first laps. I was not looking for a time, but I saw that the track conditions were good and I pushed. The closer you get to the limit, the clearer the changes you are doing on the bike become, which lead you in the right direction. Today I tried the new engine, which has improved from Valencia, some chassis configurations and rear shocks. Tomorrow the plan is to continue comparing both bikes and it would be great to come away with the chassis and engine decided for the next test."

CASEY STONER – 2nd - 2.01.434

"Yesterday we really didn't expect the best time, today we expected a bigger difference with the soft tyre - but with the chassis we chose we just couldn't get the best out of the tyre. Tomorrow maybe we can focus a little more to compare the chassis again and then see which direction to go from there. We've got a few other small things here and there but they can wait until the next test. Now I'm starting to understand the bike a bit better and when I ride it, it feels more like home."

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 4th - 2.01.512

"I'm satisfied with the work done today. We have a good base that works well on different tracks.  We started comparing again the 2010 and 2011 front fork and decided to stick to the 2011 version because it allows me to brake harder even if a small vibration still remains in the middle of the corner. I'm very happy with the pace I had today, but I am still not happy with my ability to improve my lap time when I try to push harder on the softer tyre."


Positive second day for Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo at Sepang

Day two of the first official MotoGP test at Sepang saw Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies again up to speed quickly. Both riders were on the pace from the outset as they took advantage of the good weather conditions. The cooler morning session provided an opportunity for the riders to set their fastest times of the day before the track temperatures increased from noon onwards. 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Spies was clearly at home on his 2011 YZR-M1, lapping the Sepang track as the second fastest rider for the majority of the day, only dropping to third in the last moments. Team mate Lorenzo was just 0.05 seconds behind him in seventh at the end of the session as he worked through some different chassis and engine settings.

Tomorrow is the final day of the test, both riders will continue to test developments of the 2011 M1 along with new Bridgestone tyres to provide some data for the MotoGP championships sole tyre supplier.

Ben Spies, 3rd 60 laps 2'01.508

"Today went really well. We started out and got right up to speed. We worked pretty much just on electronics and also evaluated a couple of different engine configurations, both of which worked really well. The lap times were pretty similar so we need to work out which direction we want to go. We got a lot accomplished today, tomorrow we've got a couple more things on the engine to look at and we're going to try some tyres for Bridgestone."

Jorge Lorenzo, 7th 35 laps 2'01.563

"Today we continued to work on the bike, we found some positive things and some not so good. I think we have found more traction but maybe a little vibration we need to resolve. I'm happy with the day, but it was very hot and I'm pretty tired. We've improved a lot of little things, I have to continue to work on improving my riding as well and to give the team the best explanations I can on the developments to help them move forward."

Massimo Meregalli, Team Director

"We tried some different things today and we got some good feedback. Ben had consistently good pace for the entire session today so I'm pleased. What gave us great confidence is that he had a long run with very positive results. He was satisfied with the changes we've made today so we'll see what progress we make tomorrow when we test the new tyres. In general for the team it's been quite positive, we had no problem and got good information from both sides of the garage."

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager

"The second day of testing today and some mixed results, not everything was positive. There were no big dramas and the base setting we discovered yesterday continues to be good. Lap time wise we missed something this morning, but we also tried some good things on the bike over the session. It's normal in development to find some things that don't necessarily work so well and today we found one. At the end of the day it has been positive and we have more valuable information for tomorrow."


Bautista sets personal best at Sepang

Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista continued the first test of 2011 in encouraging form today by recording his fastest ever time at the 5,548m Sepang circuit.

Bautista clocked a time of 2'01.687 during the morning session of today's test, faster than his qualifying time at last-year's Malaysian Grand Prix. He completed 63 laps and finished in eighth place on the time-sheets, 0.917 from the quickest, but only 0.253 from second place.

The team was again able to evaluate many new developments to the Suzuki GSV-R, including different chassis and rear swingarm, and to make comparisons between previous parts and updated components for the machine. Bautista was happy with his day's work and is looking forward to finishing the test on a positive note. Today's fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa on his factory Honda.

Rizla Suzuki has one more day at Sepang in which it plans to complete race simulation runs as well as continuing with the remainder of its intensive test schedule.

Álvaro Bautista:

"Immediately I left the pit lane this morning the feeling was more normal than yesterday – after my first day back at work it was easier to understand everything. On my first run I set a good lap-time and this was very close to the fastest guys, except Dani who made a real qualifying lap! Much more important was that I could make high 2.01 lap-times with very old tyres, and my rhythm felt good. Also, I tried three different chassis today and the results of that test were quite clear, and we have made an improvement to front feeling and turning. The engineers have also done some good work with the traction control and this is helping me get out of the corners more smoothly.

"Anyway, now I am quite tired after 63 laps and I didn't push for a fast time at the end of the day like many guys did – it's more important to understand the bike on old tyres. I am very happy with the developments Suzuki has made, and I'm enjoying myself – I think we can have some fun this season!"


DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM RIDERS SATISFIED WITH SECOND DAY AT MALAYSIA TEST

The rain that was predicted for the second day of testing in Sepang, Malaysia, never appeared, and both Ducati Marlboro Team riders were able to take full advantage of the conditions, starting from the track's 10:00 a.m. opening. Valentino Rossi finished approximately 20 minutes before the day ended at 6 p.m., satisfied with the work carried out on the GP11, and with status of his still-healing shoulder.

Nicky Hayden lowered his best lap time from yesterday by over a second, and he hopes to take a more decisive step forward during tomorrow's final of the first winter test of 2011.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 11th, 2'02.379 (62 laps)

"We've been quite lucky with the weather, it rained the first two days I was here, but it's been sunny since the test started. Things definitely went a little bit smoother today—we dropped over a second from the lap time—but the gap to the front is still pretty big. I had a problem with vibration, and we spent a lot of time working to eliminate that. We're going in the right direction, and we just need to keep taking small steps. We checked a lot of fork settings, some riding positions, and different geometry. It's cool to see that the team atmosphere is really positive, not just between me and Valentino, but with the engineers too. I'm not happy to be this far off the pace, but it's still early."

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th, 2'02.597 (42 laps)

"I'm happy because I was able to ride again today. I did another 42 laps, which is reassuring. Even when I work my shoulder hard, I'm finding that it doesn't get worse, and I don't suffer too much, to the extent that I was able to start again this morning without having lost anything compared to yesterday. Actually, the shoulder is even getting better as I ride, and I'm able to make the movements that are required. Obviously, it's still a handicap, because eventually I begin to lose strength and the pain increases, but we were able to do some good, consistent work. We tested some new fairings, trying out the aerodynamics. There's still a little vibration at the front that we weren't able to eliminate, but we have some cards we can play tomorrow to address that. We have to get a little more experience to better understand the bike's reactions when we change tires, from soft to hard and vice versa. If the weather stays nice, the track conditions will continue to improve, and I think lap times could drop a bit. Naturally, beyond feeling increasingly comfortable on the bike, one of our goals is to be able to ride it more easily. We're satisfied with the progress we're making.


ANOTHER POSITIVE DAY FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI

The second day of preseason testing at Sepang saw both Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders on the pace with the very best in the category, apart from a stunning lap time from Dani Pedrosa. The pair got through a great deal of work and were delighted at their speed. Marco Simoncelli made further improvements to his consistency, riding with trademark determination, with his Japanese team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also making extremely positive progress.

Tomorrow "Super Sic" plans to complete a race simulation whilst Aoyama will aim to improve his consistency.

Marco Simoncelli (5th 2'01" 522 42 laps) "I am really happy with today and, apart from the 'stratospheric' time set by Pedrosa, in race set-up I have been consistently amongst the best. We have improved the set-up compared to yesterday and experimented with some different electronic solutions. I can say that the base set-up of the bike is good and everybody, myself and the team, is finding that with more experience we are able to consolidate our work more. Last year when we spoke with the telemetry engineer from Honda we were struggling to understand but now everything is easier. After a positive first test at Valencia this is good confirmation for us at a track I have never really been fast at. So I am confident about the future and tomorrow we will try a race simulation, my physical condition permitting of course because  as usual here in Malaysia the heat is tremendous!"

Hiroshi Aoyama (6th 2'01" 534 58 laps) "Today we opted to use a soft tyre to try and improve the set-up. I rode both bikes and we tried a number of different settings on each to make back to back comparisons with the balance and things like that. At the start of the day I was struggling a little but by the end we had improved and I could have maybe even pushed a little harder. I have improved my best lap time from yesterday so that is a positive thing and tomorrow we will look for more consistency using the combined settings from the things we found with each bike today."

Fausto Gresini "Another positive and gratifying day. Simoncelli continues to show good form and is now consistently lapping with the fastest guys out there, whilst Aoyama has been a pleasant surprise for us. He need the right stimulation and I think our team is helping him to find it."


HONDAS DOMINANT ON DAY TWO IN SEPANG

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) led the charge on the second day of testing at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, with Honda riders sweeping five of the top six spots to confirm the off-season work done by the team's engineers on the Honda RC212V.

On a typically sweltering Malaysian day, Pedrosa threw down the marker early, improving his Tuesday lap time by almost 1.3s to on the fourth of his 39 laps to finish the day with one of the fastest laps ever of the 5548m circuit.

The lap of 2m 00.770s came close to the 2m 00.518s circuit best lap set in 2009 qualifying, and it was much faster than the fastest ever race lap. It was also comfortably faster than his team-mate Casey Stoner, who was second (2m 01.434s) at a gap of 0.664s.

Pedrosa tested a new engine, rear shocks and chassis configurations, already thinking ahead to the next test here in Sepang in roughly three weeks' time.

The Spaniard's performance was made more impressive because of his slightly diminished physical condition. Pedrosa broke his collarbone and injured his shoulder at last year's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi and has yet to regain full fitness.

Not so for Stoner, who dominated the first day's proceedings. In his second day in factory colours, the Australian slightly improved his lap time, while turning in an impressive 60 laps. The best of the 60 came on his penultimate lap.

Stoner couldn't get the most out of the softer rear Bridgestone as he continues to gain comfort and confidence with the RC212V.

Pedrosa and Stoner stayed on the 2010 front forks, while Andrea Dovizioso, the third member of the Repsol Honda team, tested the 2011 forks. Dovi finished with the fourth fastest time, only 0.078s slower than Stoner. The Italian improved his position by four places and his time by a second overnight. Like Stoner, Dovizioso wasn't able to make the most of the softer rear tyre, though he was hopeful of an improvement on Thursday.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) came within 0.010s of Dovizioso, while finishing with the fifth fastest time of 2m 01.522s. His new team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, was only 0.012s off Simoncelli's pace and the fifth Honda rider in the top six.

"Super Sic" was more concerned with being on the pace on race rubber, rather than an outright fast lap on soft tyres, and on that count he was successful. He plans to conduct a full race simulation on Thursday, which he admits will test his physical condition as well as the factory RC212V.

Aoyama scored the best finish of his rookie MotoGP season here at Sepang and he continued to take advantage of his familiarity with the circuit. The Japanese rider plans to consolidate his settings from the first two days of the test for day three.

The day wasn't as kind to Toni Elias (LRC Honda MotoGP). His re-entry into the premier MotoGP class after a one-year hiatus continued to be a challenge, with the 2010 Moto2 World Champion carding the 19th fastest time. The Spaniard made a number of changes to correct issues with braking and direction change, and he was confident that there was more to come on Thursday.

The test concludes on Thursday before a 19-day break, after which the teams will reconvene at Sepang for the second test of the pre-season.

HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 0.770s

"I think it's the first time I've ridden so fast on this track, but you're just fresh in the morning and I did four very good first laps. I was not looking for a time, but I saw that the track conditions were good and I pushed. The closer you get to the limit, the clearer the changes you are doing on the bike become, which lead you in the right direction. Today I tried the new engine, which has improved from Valencia, some chassis configurations and rear shocks. Tomorrow the plan is to continue comparing both bikes and it would be great to come away with the chassis and engine decided for the next test."

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd, 2m, 1.434s

"Yesterday we really didn't expect the best time, today we expected a bigger difference with the soft tyre - but with the chassis we chose we just couldn't get the best out of the tyre. Tomorrow maybe we can focus a little more to compare the chassis again and then see which direction to go from there. We've got a few other small things here and there but they can wait until the next test. Now I'm starting to understand the bike a bit better and when I ride it, it feels more like home."

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 4th, 2m, 1.512s

"I'm satisfied with the work done today. We have a good base that works well on different tracks.  We started comparing again the 2010 and 2011 front fork and decided to stick to the 2011 version because it allows me to brake harder even if a small vibration still remains in the middle of the corner. I'm very happy with the pace I had today, but I am still not happy with my ability to improve my lap time when I try to push harder on the softer tyre."

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V): 5th, 2m, 1.522s

"I am really happy with today and, apart from the 'stratospheric' time set by Pedrosa, in race set-up I have been consistently amongst the best. We have improved the set-up compared to yesterday and experimented with some different electronic solutions. I can say that the base set-up of the bike is good and everybody, myself and the team, is finding that with more experience we are able to consolidate our work more. Last year when we spoke with the telemetry engineer from Honda we were struggling to understand but now everything is easier. After a positive first test at Valencia this is good confirmation for us at a track I have never really been fast at. So I am confident about the future and tomorrow we will try a race simulation, my physical condition permitting, of course, because  as usual here in Malaysia the heat is tremendous!"

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V): 6th 2m, 1.534s

"Today we opted to use a soft tyre to try and improve the set-up. I rode both bikes and we tried a number of different settings on each to make back to back comparisons with the balance and things like that. At the start of the day I was struggling a little but by the end we had improved and I could have maybe even pushed a little harder. I have improved my best lap time from yesterday, so that is a positive thing and tomorrow we will look for more consistency using the combined settings from the things we found with each bike today."

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP): 19th, 2m, 4.026s

"It has been another full day for us as we are trying several solutions to find the right setting. I still have a strange feeling in the braking and in changing direction in the curves, so we had to change many things during the whole session. We are still very positive as we do have the experience, the will and the parts to improve our performances."


The second day of testing in Sepang - Abraham moved forward

During the second day of the official MotoGP test at Sepang circuit in Malaysia, Karel Abraham moved forward and defeated Toni Elias.

The Cardion AB Motoracing rider completed 47 laps and scored his best time 2.03,466, which placed him on the 17th position on the timesheet, just 0,560 second ahead Toni Elias.

"Everything went well this morning, but during the afternoon was too much hot and everything was difficult," said Abraham, who was more than one second faster than yesterday. As well as yesterday, his team worked on the set-up of the motorcycle. "I am hoping that tomorrow will be perfect conditions again because we want to be even faster."

The fastest rider of the second day of the official MotoGP test at Sepang was Dani Pedrosa, who ended the day with the best time 2.00,770, which placed him 0,664 second ahead the second placed Casey Stoner and 0,738 second ahead the third placed Ben Spies. Abraham was 2.696 second off the Spaniard's pace.

The official MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia continues tomorrow.

 

2011

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