2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 1 Press Release Roundup

Here's what the teams had to say after the first day of testing at Sepang:


Rizla Suzuki begins second test in detailed fashion

Rizla Suzuki has begun the second pre-season test of 2011 with an in-depth evaluation of front and rear suspension parts and settings, and electronic control strategies to further refine the Suzuki GSV-R

Álvaro Bautista (P10, 2'02.224,), completed 48 laps of the 5,548m Sepang circuit today as he worked thoroughly with his crew and the Suzuki engineers to find solutions to a number of different situations and conditions that the GSV-R might face this season.

Bautista was ably supported today by Team Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki at the Malaysian track. Aoki joined the team directly from Suzuki's private test track and completed 57 laps of the Sepang circuit in temperatures of up to 35°C. His feedback and data acquisition will be valuable for the Factory as it prepares the bike ready for the forthcoming season. Honda's Casey Stoner recorded the fastest time of the day.

Rizla Suzuki has two more days of comprehensive testing ahead of it, which Bautista, Aoki and the rest of the team will use to test a number of new and updated components and to fine tune many electronic control strategies, suspension settings and other intricate details of the 2011 Suzuki GSV-R.

Álvaro Bautista:
"Well, I feel much better today than the last time I did some laps here - then it wasn't so nice with the sickness! Today I wanted to ride in a calm way and concentrate on the details that we had to work on. Also, last time here in Sepang we really struggled to use the hard rear tyre, so we did many laps on it today and made some progress. Then finally we put in some softer tyres – the same as I used in the race last year – and the feeling was really smooth and very easy to make a low 2.02. We didn't make an exciting lap-time today but we improved the bike, especially on corner exit where it now feels much smoother. I'm looking forward to pushing a bit harder tomorrow."


REPSOL HONDA TEAM CONTINUE TO PERFORM IN SEPANG

The Repsol Honda riders enjoyed a strong return to the track today occupying the top two slots with all three riders in the top five, as testing resumed at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. The main purpose of this second test will be to work on the breaking stability issue that surfaced in the first test, as well as further development of the 2011 RC212V.

Casey Stoner resumed testing with the same set-up he had on the final day in the first test. He spent the day alternating between the two chassis options and making comparison work to achieve the best set-up.

Dani Pedrosa also dedicated the first day back working on chassis set-up, along with various electronic mappings.

Andrea Dovizioso worked on engine brake and electronics. In the afternoon, he tried a modified clutch and finished the day in fifth place after also completing a busy tyre testing schedule.

CASEY STONER – 1st - 2.00.987
"We had a really good day today, from the beginning I felt more comfortable with the bike again, like I understood the bike a little better. We managed to work on set-up but we are still doing a chassis comparison, finding strong points and weak points on both. It's difficult to choose one or the other, whatever set-up we throw at them we seem to be able to run pretty similar lap times. We're very happy with the progress we made today and everything and everybody seems to be working well".

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd - 2.01.360
"We made the most of the test today which is a good job because it looks like tomorrow we will get some rain. In the morning, we focused on some different electronic mappings to improve the entering and exit of the corners and in the afternoon we did some set-up modifications on the chassis to improve the stability on braking. The track temperature was high at the middle of the day and the track was quite slippery but we did a good test and tomorrow we will work on smaller details. Also, physically my shoulder felt better on the bike than in the first test. I had two more weeks and I've become stronger from training, so my condition is getting better".

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th - 2.01.747
"I'm really happy about how we have started this second test. Honda engineers have made a very good job on the engine brake with the electronic system to improve the feeling on the rear and these are really good because I have to say that it was our main problem last year and we couldn't make such a big step forward as we did today. We have decreased the chattering compared to the first test and the stability on the rear, so I'm very satisfied. We were able to be fast from the beginning and, even we were not looking for a lap time today, we tried 3 different tyre compounds and we had a good pace with all of them".


Promising Start for Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies at Sepang Second Test

The second official MotoGP winter test of the off-season saw a promising start for the Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo today. As with the first test just under three weeks ago, the riders enjoyed blazing sunshine on track, with track temperatures going from 39 up to 46 degrees. World Champion Lorenzo made some set up changes over the lunch period, finding a highly effective setting that enabled him to deliver consistently fast laps through the afternoon, closing in to end the day in third just 0.48 seconds from the top of the timesheets. Team mate Spies spent his morning getting used to his bike after the break then worked on some different suspension settings. The Texan finished the session in sixth just 0.82 seconds from the front having used just two sets of tyres over the day.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
"Today was a good day for me, we worked on the traction to improve it from the previous test which helped us a lot in the set up, I'm now very satisfied with it. We have our chassis for 2011 now and we are working on it as well as our engine spec. With the improvements we've made we can now brake a little later and enter the corners a little more quickly as well so I was able to do some good fast consistent lap times this afternoon when it was still very hot on the track."

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing
"Today we came to this test with the engine configurations we're going to race with so both bikes have that. We just warmed up in the morning and spent the afternoon on one set of tyres. We set our fastest lap of the day when it was very hot and mid race distance on a hard tyre. We're saving some tyres for the end of the test when the track's good. We worked on some race set up and I also worked on some different riding styles. We'll start again tomorrow with plenty more to do. We tried a couple of shocks and found a few tenths and were still consistently fast on used tyres which was promising. It's definitely a good day and I'm happy with it."

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager
"We had a very hot day today in Sepang with sky high temperatures. As a result there was quite a struggle to find grip. In the afternoon it was getting better and we found some really positive things which helped us find some good traction which is important here at Sepang. Finally we are quite satisfied with today's results."

Massimo Meregalli, Team Director
"It was a very productive day for Ben. We worked on the set up of the bike and made a lot of laps. He was still able to put in a very good lap at the end when the tyre was used which gives us a lot of confidence. Tomorrow we will push on to look for a fast lap time. Jorge was also consistently delivering a good pace, the crew found a good set up and it was clear this afternoon that it was working well for him. Both riders are very positive about their crew performance so we are very satisfied with the team."


HONDA MEN CONTINUE DOMINANCE OF SEPANG

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) and team-mate Dani Pedrosa picked up where they left off just a few weeks ago by sweeping the top two spots on the opening day of the second MotoGP test of the winter in Sepang, Malaysia.

When the previous three-day test here ended almost three weeks ago, Stoner finished with the third overall time, just behind Pedrosa, while Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) finished best in class. But today, on another typically tropical day on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Stoner was back on top, as he'd been on the first day of the earlier test

The 2007 world champion spent the opening day comparing a stiffer 2011 chassis to the 2010 version. His quickest tour of the 5548m track was 2m, 0.987s on the 48th of 53 laps, a time which was just off his best from the prior test. It was also .373s faster than Pedrosa's best time, set on the 43rd of his 46 laps. Pedrosa, who'd finished the previous test with the second fastest time, worked on electronic mappings and improving stability under braking, one of the key improvements of the latest iteration of the RC212V.

Most important to Pedrosa was his physical condition. The more than two week gap since the last test has given his surgically repaired shoulder time to continue to heal, which has allowed him to increase his strength through training.

Andrea Dovizioso, the third member of the Repsol Honda team, finished the first day with the fifth fastest time of 2m, 1.747s. Dovizioso was encouraged by the improvement the electronics made in engine braking on the rear end, which was one of his areas of concern last season. The engineers not only improved stability on the rear, but also decreased the chattering.

The San Carlo Gresini Honda teammates finished together, with Hiroshi Aoyama in front of Simoncelli. Aoyama was the iron man today, picking up speed as he completed 73 laps in the heat. It was his 73rd and final lap that stood out as his personal best. Simoncelli's best of 49 laps came early, on lap 13, while he concentrated on the race set-up of his factory Honda RC212V.

Aoyama was comparing a number of new components to the more established pieces and found he was more comfortable with the original parts. Now the team is focused on finding a direction for the final two days of the test as the season fast approaches.

Simoncelli didn't find track conditions optimal and chose to work on a race set-up, rather than chasing a fast lap time. With well worn tires he was able to lap nearly a second quicker than he had during last year's race. Simoncelli will continue to work on development before fitting the softer rear rubber that many ahead of him put to such good use.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda RC212V), the 2010 Moto2 World Champion, continued to adapt to the MotoGP machinery by ending the day 13th overall. The Spaniard's confidence continued to grow as his pace increased throughout the day, with his best time coming on his 63rd and final lap.

HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 0.987s
"We had a really good day today. From the beginning I felt more comfortable with the bike again, like I understood the bike a little better. We managed to work on set-up, but we are still doing a chassis comparison, finding strong points and weak points on both. It's difficult to choose one or the other. Whatever set-up we throw at them we seem to be able to run pretty similar lap times. We're very happy with the progress we made today and everything and everybody seems to be working well."

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd, 2m, 1.360s
"We made the most of the test today, which is a good job, because it looks like tomorrow we will get some rain. In the morning, we focused on some different electronic mappings to improve the entering and exit of the corners and in the afternoon we did some set-up modifications on the chassis to improve the stability on braking. The track temperature was high at the middle of the day and the track was quite slippery, but we did a good test and tomorrow we will work on smaller details. Also, physically my shoulder felt better on the bike than in the first test. I had two more weeks and I've become stronger from training, so my condition is getting better."

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 5th, 2m, 1.747s
"I'm really happy about how we have started this second test. Honda engineers have made a very good job on the engine brake with the electronic system to improve the feeling on the rear and these are really good because, I have to say, that it was our main problem last year and we couldn't make such a big step forward as we did today. We have decreased the chattering compared to the first test and the stability on the rear, so I'm very satisfied. We were able to be fast from the beginning and, even though we were not looking for a lap time today, we tried three different tyre compounds and we had a good pace with all of them."

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 7th, 2m, 1.939s
"I did a lot of laps and a lot of work. I have done several comparative tests and found a different feeling, but in the end I was feeling much better with the technical parts that I already knew. Tomorrow I will continue to do the work, but it certainly is not easy to find a good condition with new solutions and, anyway, we will see. In any case, it was an interesting day to understand which direction to take to continue to work successfully for the season that is approaching."

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 8th, 2m, 1.996s
"We have resumed from the last test of twenty days ago always here at Sepang. Today the track conditions were not optimal and, in any case, I have not tried for a lap time, but we have engaged in many trials. We tested different set-ups and electronics and will continue to do so tomorrow. I'm pretty happy because the tyres had twenty laps and could make for interesting times of around 2 '02. Honestly, we're a little far from first because we have a gap of a second, but I am confident because I have not used the very soft rubber. I repeat, as a first step we are not far from the best and so I'm happy."

Toni Elias (LCR Honda): 13th, 2m, 2.779s
"Today I am really happy because we have found some directions and I could lap with more confidence. On these conditions it is not easy as the track surface reached 61 degrees today, but I wanted to take the most of the bike despite the heat. Basically, we have worked to develop the machine base set-up using the data we gathered before and my pace is getting better lap by lap. We didn't make an exciting lap-time today, but we aimed to improve the bike working on chassis geometry and suspension regulations. Of course there is still work to do, but I am more confident now because we took a first step forward."


VALENTINO ROSSI AND NICKY HAYDEN START SECOND SEPANG TEST ON THE RIGHT FOOT

Today marked the beginning of the second winter MotoGP test at Malaysia's Sepang Circuit, where the work will continue until February 24. The Ducati Marlboro Team riders took full advantage of an entire day without rain, although the temperatures were higher than they had been during the three-day test at the beginning of this month.

Valentino Rossi continued his important work on the GP11's setup, completing 53 laps and choosing some base settings on which his crew plans to concentrate in the future.

Nicky Hayden worked on his setup in an effort to reduce chatter, and despite a slow fall just before the lunch break, he was satisfied in the end with the progress he'd made.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th, 2:01.999 (53 laps)
"We can be satisfied with today as a first day, because we're a second from the top, like we were at the end of the first test but without trying a late ‘time attack' with the soft tyre like the others did. For the most part today, I was between fifth and sixth place, which is the goal we had set. I'm still losing about three tenths due to the shoulder, because I'm still stronger in the left turns, whereas I'm normally the opposite; the rest we'll have to find by working on the bike. I'm also happy because we spent all our time on the hard tyres, which we struggled with before today. In the end, we chose one of the two setups that we had settled upon at the last test, and that will now be our base to work from, and the one on which we'll concentrate our efforts in the next couple of days."

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 12th, 2:02.680 (60 laps)
"It's good to be back at Sepang, working on and developing the GP11. We spent the morning checking a few things and confirming what we had learned the last time we were here. Everything pretty much went according to schedule, except I had a little crash in Turn 1 toward the end of the morning session. It was really hot, and I lost the front and tipped over, but I was going slow and didn't do any damage to myself or the bike. Today we experienced less chatter than we had last time, so that's quite good. We need to keep reducing that over the next two days and also find some more traction, so we've got plenty to keep us busy."


THREE MORE DAYS OF TESTS BEGIN AT SEPANG

It was a positive first day for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders at Sepang, where the second off-season MotoGP test is taking place. Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama completed a hefty amount of laps (73) as he worked hard doing comparative tests between various technical solutions for the set-up of his Honda RC212V. In the end he managed to get a positive and encouraging lap time that will help in the intense work that lies ahead in the two remaining days in Malaysia. Marco Simoncelli had a good day on the pace and got through some useful work without searching for the fast lap time. "Super Sic" and his Team were satisfied in view of the heavy work schedule planned for tomorrow. He was not worried about the second that separates him from the fastest rider having not used the soft tyre, and is certain of being on the right path to keep himself amongst the front runners of the class going into the new season.

Marco Simoncelli (8th ° 2'01"996 49 laps): "We've picked up from where we left it at the last test twenty days ago here at Sepang. Track conditions were not optimal today and in any case, I've not tried for a fast lap time, we were focused doing lots of different tests. We tried several set-ups and electronic settings, which we will continue to work on tomorrow. I'm quite happy because with twenty laps on the tyres I was still able to lap around the 2' 02" mark. Honestly speaking, we are a bit behind the front-runners with about a second's gap, but I am confident nonetheless because I didn't use the softest tyre. In terms of pace, we're not far off the best, so I'm happy with that."

Hiroshi Aoyama (7th 2'01"939 73 laps): "I did a lot of laps and a lot of work today. I did lots of comparisons and found a different feeling with the bike and in the end I felt much better with the technical parts that I'd already been using. Tomorrow I will continue to work hard but it's certainly not easy to find a good feeling with the new options so we will see! In any case, it was an interesting day figuring out which direction to take so that we can make the most of the season that is fast approaching."

Fausto Gresini: "It was a positive day for both riders. Marco tried lots of technical solutions preferring substance over a fast lap time, so that we can draw the right conclusions. We are very happy that everything is going the right way because we can see that Marco is able to maintain a very high pace. In the end it went very well for Hiroshi too, who did a tremendous job trying different set-ups and making comparative tests. In conclusion, as a first day of this second test in Malaysia I am satisfied and convinced that for us it will be a season full of positive results."

2011

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Comments

None of the others alluded to attacking a lap time on whatever compound.
Thanks for the inside information regarding what the others are up to Valentino.
Seriously,thanks for the feedback from riders and teams David.Much appreciated.

I was put off by the same remark by Valentino. MotoGP.com had this to say, "With an effort of 2’00.987 inside the final hour" (specifically about Casey Stoner). Translating that into a "time attack" might be a little harsh. Especially considering that at half point, he was at 2'01 -- several tenths above Valentino's final time.

More work from the spin doctor.

But hey, when it comes to motorcycle racing this time of year.. any news is good news.

So you missed the similar comment from / about Simoncelli despite it being written three times above? Just for you here here it is again:

"Simoncelli will continue to work on development before fitting the softer rear rubber that many ahead of him put to such good use."

"but I am confident because I have not used the very soft rubber"

"but I am confident nonetheless because I didn't use the softest tyre"

Rossi: '...I'm still stronger in the left turns, whereas I'm normally the opposite...'
I'm pleased to hear he has a preference for one turn over the other. I like left turns better!

...who liked left turns more. :)

From what I've been able to gather, my buddies who are right-handed (like me), prefer left turns, and "lefties" prefer right turns...for whatever reason...

Anyway, it's nice to see 1) riders back on track (in BOTH series) 2) some interesting names near the top of the timesheets (again, in BOTH series), and finally, 3) the ever-eager vultures circling the sky, vying for some "I-told-you-so" scraps of Rossi roadkill... :)

In short, all is as it should be. Bring on 2011! Game on!