2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 2 Press Release Roundup

The press releases issued after the 2nd day of testing at Sepang:


REPSOL HONDA RIDERS TOP THREE IN SEPANG TEST

The Repsol Honda Team made full use of the second day of testing at the Sepang circuit to continue working on the 2011 RC212V prototype. All three riders went back on track at 10h30 and began with a kind of "time attack" that placed them in the top three positions on the time sheets from the start to the end of the session.

Stoner was able to do 2'00.342 on his fourth lap, immediately after beaten by Dani Pedrosa who on his fourth lap stopped the chrono at 2'00.229. A few minutes after Andrea Dovizioso set his best lap time on his eighth lap with 2'00.531. In his final outing of the day Stoner set the fastest lap of the day with 2'00.171, confirming his good feeling with his new machine. Both the Spaniard and Australian outclassing Rossi's 2009 Pole Position and Circuit Best Lap of 2'00.518.

During the whole day the factory Repsol Honda riders concentrated on their own program with Dani Pedrosa trying a modified front fork that Ohlins brought here after his comments on the first test. The Spaniard was doing also some tyre testing for Bridgestone and going through different set-up work.

Casey Stoner also focused on the new front fork, a 2011 model - looking for the best set-up possible and in the afternoon he tried out some new rear shocks on his RC212V.

The target of Andrea Dovizioso today was to continue working on the engine braking and gain some tenths in corner speed and more grip with some chassis settings. He also tried also a front tyre for Bridgestone and some settings for the clutch.

CASEY STONER – 1st - 2'00.171
"We tested a lot of different things including the 2011 fork and new shocks and we found quite a lot of chattering with them. We spent 90% of the day on one bike trying different configurations, changing the geometry to get the new fork working with the bike but didn't find anything that felt really good, but these things are necessary to do before the start of the season. We're slowly starting to lean more towards the standard frame but tomorrow will give us more confirmation on this. We found the new forks to be quite amazing in the braking points, in hard breaking I didn't need to use half as much pressure and I was able to stop for the corner much quicker, but found a lot more chattering in the last part of the corner. We managed to reduce this but we just seemed to lack the extra feeling that the alternative forks were giving".

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd - 2'00.229
"Today we were testing mainly suspension parts, a new front fork in the morning that gives us a more positive feeling on braking, and a rear shock in the afternoon that improves the feeling with the rear tyre, so I'm satisfied with the work we've done together with Ohlins. We also tried different settings for the chassis and I'd like to be in the position tomorrow to decide which one we will use for this season. Now, both chassis give me a good feeling and I have to put my head down and think about it because it's a very important decision. Since coming into MotoGP, this test together with the 2006 winter test on the 990 cc. bike, is the best pre-season. In 2006 I remember we had a very good last test that allowed us to face the first race well prepared and with a lot of confidence; and now it feels very similar. The bike is responding in the areas we need, although the first race is wh ere you see clearly where you win and where you lose. I think Yamaha will be closer than they are now, so we have to keep an eye on them".

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 3rd - 2'00.531
"I'm repeating myself, but I'm very very happy. It was a surprise to do 2'00.9 in the first test and we've been able to do 2'05 today, which is great. Normally I'm not so fast in testing, so to be competitive like this is very good. Today, the track conditions were better, as usual in the second day of testing, but another good point is that we have improved our lap times from the first test, and our rivals haven't so much. In terms of tested items, today we did nothing in particular, just tried a few things that you don't have time to test during the season, and we were consistent all day. The plan for tomorrow is to do a simulation, and it will be a good training to start the season in Qatar with more information about how the tyres and bike work in race distance".


Lots of potential for Bautista on second day

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista made good progress but lost a large amount of test time at Malaysia today due to a severe headache that sidelined the Spanish star.

Bautista (P10, 2’02.035, 35 laps), had already begun today’s wide-ranging programme and had tested new Marchesini wheels, Ohlins rear shock damping specs, and electronic mapping strategies before the pain and dizziness made it unsafe to test further. He received attention at the Clinica Mobile and rested for a few hours. Thereafter, he was able to continue with the day’s testing and to set his fastest time of the day – which was 0.2 seconds better than yesterday’s best.

Nobuatsu Aoki was again on hand to continue with his own test programme at the 5,548m Sepang circuit. He completed another 46 laps to give yet more data for Suzuki to use as it prepares for the new season. Honda’s Casey Stoner was again the quickest rider at the test.

Bautista will be hoping to be back to full fitness tomorrow as the pre-season test schedule reaches its final third. The last day at Sepang will give the teams only three more days testing – with the final two at Qatar in two weeks’ time – before the 2011 MotoGP season kicks off on Sunday 20th March, also at Qatar.

Álvaro Bautista:
"It seems like at this moment the bike has better durability than the rider! This has been bad luck to get sick at two consecutive tests – I feel very drained but I am confident that I will be ok tomorrow after maybe 12 hours sleep! But there was also some positive points today – we tested a new rear swing-arm which improved the rear grip by a reasonable step and also a new engine map which helped the bike punch off the corner better. My best lap was with race distance already completed on the tyres, so for sure I can go quicker with new tyres but today my condition was not the best for a ‘qualifying’ style lap. I’m frustrated but happy – we have improved the Suzuki quite a lot since the end of 2010."


Strong Performances for Spies and Lorenzo on Day Two at Sepang

The second day of the three day test at Sepang saw Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo again testing in sweltering conditions with track temperatures soaring through the day. Despite the heat it was straight down to business, both riders breaking under the 2.01 second laps swiftly. Texan factory newcomer Spies again spent another day delivering smooth fast laps, finding some extra grip on track through chassis changes. He suffered a small crash at the end of the afternoon session at turn seven but was unhurt and upbeat about his day. At the end of the test Spies stood fourth in the timesheets, 0.65 seconds behind the leader.

Team mate Lorenzo took the opportunity of today's sessions to re-confirm some setting changes, as with Spies, the Mallorcan World Champion was consistently quick and running under the 2.01 mark for the majority of the day. Lorenzo wrapped up this afternoon in fifth position just 0.76 seconds from the top of the timesheets.

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 4th, 2'00.824, 54 laps
"I think we had a really successful day, we tried a little bit of a different chassis set up to try and improve the rear grip and we definitely succeeded in that. We did a few long runs and were quite fast on a hot track so it has been really productive finding how to be consistent in the heat. It's a pity I made a small mistake at the end of the day however I think we've gained a lot, especially with the rear grip of the bike."

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 5th 2'00.931, 45 laps
"It was a hard and hot day today, we tried the test bike as well as my 2011 bike to reconfirm a number of new developments. We confirmed that the direction is right so we will continue tomorrow with this direction on my M1. We've definitely improved the traction a lot, although we could still do with some more power."

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"Today was again very hot, although maybe not as hot as yesterday. We used the day for back to back test on all our focus areas, Jorge improved on last year so all the results were quite positive and we confirmed what we felt before. We were missing a bit of grip today which we couldn't find, the track conditions changed a lot over the day so we need to check our data and see where we can find some more."

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"We had another interesting day with Ben, learning quite a lot. We worked a lot in weight distribution and got some good feedback. At the end, apart from the crash, Ben was very happy with the solutions we've found during the session.

Jorge today made a few back to back comparisons providing positive confirmation on the improvements to the bike. Tomorrow he is going to start with the best combination of today's results. Overall we took another step forward as team, both sides having a clear positive direction to move in."


FLU STOPS ROSSI AT SEPANG, HAYDEN CONTINUES WORKING ON THE GP11’S SETUP

Suffering from flu symptoms, Valentino Rossi didn’t take to the track during today’s second of three days of testing at Sepang. The Italian rider was feeling weakened by fever and a cold when he arrived at the track this morning, and after consulting with the team and with doctors from the Clinica Mobile, he returned to his hotel, where he underwent anti-flu treatment. The hope is that the unplanned day off will leave Valentino in better condition for tomorrow’s final day of testing.

Nicky Hayden’s second day of testing didn’t bring the results he had hoped for, but the American worked closely with his team in an effort to take a step forward for tomorrow’s final day.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 12th, 2:02.208 (44 laps)
"It wasn’t the smoothest day, as we had a couple of time-consuming glitches. We had planned to put on some fresh tyres at the end to see how good the changes we’d made really were, but we had a small problem with the gearbox near the end, and there wasn’t time to go back out. We still did 44 laps though, and it was a pretty solid day overall. The team really worked hard today, so thanks to them as always. Our gap to the front is still quite big, but we’ve definitely managed to get the chatter a lot better. It’s not completely cured, but it’s good enough that we can focus on some other stuff. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so hopefully we can take a big step and leave here positive."


SATISFACTION AFTER HARD WORK ON SECOND DAY IN SEPANG

It was another positive day for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today. Once again "Super Sic" focused more on quality testing than searching for a lap-time. He also performed a race simulation at the same time as the Grand Prix would take place, and was delighted with his efforts. He had a light front-end slide at the last corner but it didn't compromise any of his good work, and is ready to continue with the same intensity on tomorrow's final day of testing. Hiroshi Aoyama also had a positive day as he works through the various set-up solutions he has for the season ahead. By the end of the day the Japanese rider felt he had a much clearer idea about the choices available during the coming year.

Marco Simoncelli (6th 2'01"033 - 52 laps) "I'm really happy because ever since yesterday we have increased our pace and I am much quicker out on track. I found good consistency riding at a solid pace in the low 2' 01" bracket and a little bit higher. I'm satisfied and we are only eight-tenths off top spot and we still haven't used the soft tyre as many others did this morning when track temperatures were better. My best time came on hard tyres and in very different asphalt conditions. During the day I had a small slide out which made me realise that I need to brake a little earlier into the final corner."

Hiroshi Aoyama (7th 2'01"439 - 64 laps) "Today we continued the work we began yesterday on comparing various technical aspects of the bike to try and understand the choices we have to make before the season starts. Now we have a much clearer idea of the direction to go in I am happy with the work we have done, and I think that both the team and Honda are equally satisfied. I'm not as happy with my lap-time but we were too busy working through other things. I will try to do better tomorrow, and I am sure I'll manage to do so."

Fausto Gresini "I am happy because we had another good day of work today, and I must say that Marco has been strong, despite the small slide out which is all part of the game. Tomorrow we need to confirm everything we've done here, but so far so good. The pace of the front guys is high, but we are close. Honda have made a great bike and we can be nothing but happy with that. Like yesterday Marco has focused on consistency and even did a race simulation at the same hour the Grand Prix is run, going particularly well. Also Hiroshi has worked hard again and he has finally got a better idea of which technical choices to make for the season. He is also quick, and I am increasingly aware that our team will give a lot of satisfaction this year to myself and all those who have believed in this project.


SECOND DAY AT SEPANG

The second day of winter testing at Sepang has concluded, after that the MotoGP riders donated, at the beginning of the day, in support to the Malaysian population recently hit by floods. After this for Ducati Pramac Racing riders, Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet was time to step on track. 39 laps for the Italian, who ended the session at 15th place, with 20 thousands of a second later than teammate De Puniet (for him the laps were 35), with the 14th fastest lap time in 2.02.604.

The white-green duo could not perform has hoped and tomorrow, in the last day of testing, they will adjust the bike in order to improve.

Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team - 14th fastest lap time in 2'02.604
"It did not go as I expected. I still find a bit of trouble when breaking and also when entering the corners. Every time I try to push harder the lap time goes up. Tomorrow we will use the basic set up of yesterday, because today was not convincing. The goal, for tomorrow is to improve the lap time and find the right set-up for the start of the season."

Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team - 15th fastest lap time in 2'02.624
"Today we focused on the development of certain technical details, and tomorrow we will try to lower our lap time. We studied different solutions trying to figure out the areas for improvement. I am confident and I think the last day of test tomorrow we can do something good to lower our best lap time as up to today we did not use soft tyres."


HONDA MEN FINISH DAY TWO ON TOP

Honda riders staged an early attack that set a benchmark no others could match on their way to sweeping the top three spots on the second day of pre-season testing in blistering heat at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. So successful has been Honda’s off-season work that all five days of winter testing, including three earlier this month, have been led by riders on Honda’s improved RC212V.

For the second day in a row, Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) led the charge, putting his name atop the time sheet with the fastest ever lap of the 5548m circuit after an intramural battle with team-mate Dani Pedrosa that netted them the top two spots. The team-mates served early notice of their intent, with both lapping under the previous outright fastest lap early in the day.

Stoner, who concentrated on the 2011 Ohlins front fork and also tried a new rear shock, set a fast time of 2m, 00.342s, on his fourth lap of the morning. Pedrosa, who also tried a modified front fork, did him one better, setting the top time of 2m, 00.229s on his fourth lap. Pedrosa’s time stood until the very end of the day when Stoner edged him by .058s with the fastest ever lap of 2m, 00.171s.

Both Stoner and Pedrosa bettered the previous outright fastest lap of 2m, 00.518s set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.

Andrea Dovizioso, the third member of the Repsol Honda team, also set his fastest lap early to join Stoner and Pedrosa at the top. Dovizioso’s lap of 2m, 00.531s, a personal best set on his eighth of 46 laps, put him third overall on the day and gave the factory squad a sweep of the top three places. Dovizioso continued to enjoy the benefit of improved engine braking, which has helped all Honda riders shave tenths off their lap times. Dovizioso also worked on the clutch and tested a new Bridgestone front tyre.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) leapt ahead of team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama to set the sixth fastest time on race rubber. Simoncelli ended the previous test here with the fastest overall time of 2m, 00.757s, a marker he continues to approach. Aoyama’s best lap came late, on the 60th of his 64 laps.

"Super Sic" was encouraged by his consistency and having improved on his Tuesday lap time, secure that when he fits the softer rear tyre he’ll be even closer to the leaders. The second year MotoGP rider did have a small front end crash in the final corner, which he took as a valuable lesson.

Fellow second year MotoGP rider Aoyama again accumulated the most laps-today he shared iron man honors with Hector Barbera (Ducati)- while improving throughout the day until he was able to lap consistently in the 2m, 1s range and within 0.406s of Simoncelli.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda) finished the day 17th overall while struggling with the scorching heat. Elias believes he could have lowered his lap time, but chose to improve race set-up in advance of the final day of testing on Thursday.

HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 00.171s
"We tested a lot of different things, including the 2011 fork and new shocks, and we found quite a lot of chattering with them. We spent 90% of the day on one bike trying different configurations, changing the geometry to get the new fork working with the bike, but didn't find anything that felt really good. But these things are necessary to do before the start of the season. We're slowly starting to lean more towards the standard frame, but tomorrow will give us more confirmation on this. We found the new forks to be quite amazing in the braking points; in hard braking I didn't need to use half as much pressure and I was able to stop for the corner much quicker, but found a lot more chattering in the last part of the corner. We managed to reduce this but we just seemed to lack the extra feeling that the alternative forks were giving."

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd, 2m, 00.229s
"Today we were testing mainly suspension parts, a new front fork in the morning that gives us a more positive feeling on braking, and a rear shock in the afternoon that improves the feeling with the rear tyre, so I'm satisfied with the work we've done together with Ohlins. We also tried different settings for the chassis and I'd like to be in the position tomorrow to decide which one we will use for this season. Now, both chassis give me a good feeling and I have to put my head down and think about it because it's a very important decision. Since coming into MotoGP, this test together with the 2006 winter test on the 990cc bike, is the best pre-season. In 2006, I remember we had a very good last test that allowed us to face the first race well prepared and with a lot of confidence; and now it feels very similar. The bike is responding in the areas we need, although the first race is where you see clearly where you win and where you lose. I think Yamaha will be closer than they are now, so we have to keep an eye on them."

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 3rd, 2m, 00.531s
"I'm repeating myself, but I'm very, very happy. It was a surprise to do 2'00.9 in the first test and we've been able to do 2'00.5 today, which is great. Normally, I'm not so fast in testing, so to be competitive like this is very good. Today, the track conditions were better, as usual in the second day of testing, but another good point is that we have improved our lap times from the first test, and our rivals haven't so much. In terms of tested items, today we did nothing in particular, just tried a few things that you don't have time to test during the season, and we were consistent all day. The plan for tomorrow is to do a simulation, and it will be a good training to start the season in Qatar with more information about how the tyres and bike work in race distance."

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 6th, 2m, 01.033s
"I'm really happy because ever since yesterday we have increased our pace and I am much quicker out on track. I found good consistency riding at a solid pace in the low 2'01" bracket and a little bit higher. I'm satisfied and we are only eight-tenths off the top spot and we still haven't used the soft tyre as many others did this morning when track temperatures were better. My best time came on hard tyres and in very different asphalt conditions. During the day I had a small slide out which made me realise that I need to brake a little earlier into the final corner."

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 7th, 2m, 01.439s
"Today we continued the work we began yesterday on comparing various technical aspects of the bike to try and understand the choices we have to make before the season starts. Now we have a much clearer idea of the direction to go in I am happy with the work we have done, and I think that both the team and Honda are equally satisfied. I'm not as happy with my lap time but we were too busy working through other things. I will try to do better tomorrow, and I am sure I'll manage to do so."

Toni Elias (LCR Honda): 17th, 2m, 02.941s
"We had another productive day, though it was very hard to ride in these tropical conditions. From yesterday I felt more comfortable with the bike like I understood the bike a little better, but as I said before we still have a lot of work to do. We managed to work on set-up, even today finding strong points and weak points. Actually, our base set-up give us the chance to make a low 2’02, but today we focused on different adjustments rather than chasing a fast lap time."


Karel Abraham had another fall, but finished 16th ahead of Elias and Crutchlow

Karel Abraham made another step forward today and finished 16th, whilst Toni Elias and Cal Crutchlow completed the timesheet.

With the heat having intensified and the track temperature reaching over 60°C at one stage, Karel Abraham completed 36 laps on board his Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and set a best time of 2.02,676.

"We made good progress today, but I am still not satisfied because I know that we can be even faster," said Abraham, who experienced another fall and ended the day 2,505 second off the fastest rider.

"We still have problems with the set-up of the motorcycle, especially with the front-end feeling. I am hoping that we will fix this tomorrow" added Abraham after his return to the garage of the Cardion AB Motoracing team.

2011

Back to top

Comments

Which in some ways is not surprising given they're making the most significant changes to their machine from 2010. I just wonder how many incarnations of the GP11 are banging around Sepang right now. David, you mention Rossi experimenting with both 48 & 42mm forks and different stiffness CF headstock load bearing member (is there a technical term for this chassis component?). Do Hayden and the satellite guys also have different parts to try? And finally we note the wings and gills been ditched; the fairing looks a little lither to me - to aid turn in?

..... how fast could Casey ride the GP11 Desmosedici. He would be most definitely the fastest Ducati but wonder, Could he achieve a top 5 with this year´s bike?

The Alien territory is re-drawing its frontiers.