Here's the final round of press releases from the Sepang MotoGP test:
Stoner sets scorching pace in Sepang; top three faster than outright record
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Second pre-season test
Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 February 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard
The second of the pre-season tests at the Malaysian Sepang International Circuit was brought to a close today after three dry and hot days of running, despite rain threatening the final 45minutes of Thursday.
The track temperature reached a high of 57 degrees Celsius, and the fastest times on each day were set in the cooler morning or late afternoon runs. The third and final day of the test was the fastest overall, with the leading Repsol Honda duo of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa both lapping the 5.5km circuit in under two minutes. The top three riders also each lapped quicker than the official circuit best lap of 2m 00.518s, set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.
The fastest laps were set using the harder option front tyre for its increased stability under braking, especially given the high track temperature and the heavy braking points from high-speed at Sepang, coupled with a softer rear for the extra traction and grip advantage it offers. Some riders though, including Valentino Rossi, preferred the softer front.
Bridgestone took advantage of the opportunity to further tyre development by supplying every rider with one front and one rear test-specification slick tyre, in addition to normal allocation of two compounds of front and rear slicks.
During the test, the Sepang International Circuit also raised money for their ‘RM2 or More’ campaign supporting the Malaysia Flood Relief Fund. Teams were invited to donate for each member of staff present, but instead Bridgestone donated for each tyre brought to the test, meaning RM1000 for 1000 tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima – Director, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"I am happy with tyre performance at this test because the track temperature has been high but, owing mainly to the development of the bikes over the winter, the times at the front are incredibly fast. We have gained a lot of data from this test and have been able to confirm the performance of the 2011-spec front and rear slicks so I am pleased about this. Several riders also completed long-distance runs and durability and consistency were satisfactory even in such demanding conditions so I am confident of tyre performance again this year.
"This has been a valuable test for our fundamental tyre development work too and we have gathered good data and feedback from riders on our front and rear test tyres, so I must thank them for their support. We are always working hard to improve our tyre technology, and this work will help us to ensure we have the right developmental direction for future tyres both for MotoGP of course and also for our Battlax consumer road tyres."
Weather: Tue: Dry, Wed: Dry, Thu: Dry. Ambient 27-34°C; Track 37-57°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Successful Test for Yamaha Factory Racing in Sepang
Texan rider Spies wrapped up his three day test at lunchtime today having completed 32 laps in the morning session. Although the team had kept back four sets of soft tyres for this final day, only two were used in less than ideal conditions to set a faster lap time. Despite this he managed to record his fastest time of 2'00.678, his personal best for the circuit and 0.86 under the pole position time of his team mate Lorenzo from last year's Malaysian Grand Prix race.
Lorenzo's final afternoon session was played out in dramatic fashion, the World Champion completing a 20 lap race distance run under dark skies split by forked lightening. The Mallorcan kept a consistent pace throughout, confirming the improvements of his M1 and, as with his team mate, lapping consistently under last year's race times and beating his pole lap of last season's Malaysian GP race by 0.534 seconds.
Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 5th, 2'00.678, 32 laps
"It was a productive test, we got through a lot. I had one small mistake but on the plus side we had a lot of stuff we accomplished so it's all good. We still have some work to do obviously but we're not too far off race pace. We need to figure out how to get the bike a little bit quicker for a few laps, definitely for qualifying and the beginning of the race. It wasn't the most ideal conditions today for a quick lap, I did go to put in a few this morning and was pretty pleased with the time. I'm looking forward to a few days rest now in cooler temperatures at home before Qatar! The team have been awesome again, I'm really pleased with how we're working together."
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 7th, 2'01.003, 48 laps
"I feel quite tired, after two and a half days of testing I've finished with a long 20 lap run. The results have been quite good, we had a very consistent pace and I was happy to have improved some things with the bike. I think we've made some big steps forward with traction and feel, although we still need to improve our lap time."
Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"It was a good day today to wrap up, I am satisfied with the results of the long run. Jorge was very consistent and the grip didn't drop that much towards the end, he kept a good pace which is a strong point for him and important that we didn't lose that. Of course we saw our competitors were very fast this morning but it's only the second test of the year, I think Qatar will be a very different story. We've improved the package compared to the last time we were here racing here which was our goal. Of course we have more work to do and we will continue to work on it."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"We've definitely had a good test, we've improved the traction of the bike a lot and also the handling. Compared to the last test Ben's improved by a considerable time so he's quite satisfied with the set up. There is still a gap to the fastest riders but in terms of long runs we are very competitive so we will go to Qatar knowing we can achieve a good result.
Jorge found a good set up this afternoon and achieved a really good long run so we have achieved the targets we set before we came here, I am very satisfied with the team and how we have performed."
GREAT END TO TEST IN SEPANG FOR REPSOL HONDA TEAM
The final day in Sepang witnessed an incredible display of speed from all three Repsol Honda riders . Within 10 minutes of the track opening for the final day's testing, Casey Stoner on his first flying lap of the day recorded a time of 2'00.122 - five hundredths faster than his quickest (and top of the day) lap on day two. However, on his next lap, Stoner put in a sub two minute lap of 1'59.665 almost a second quicker than the circuit best lap recorded in 2009, which remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.
Within fifteen minutes of this incredible feat, Dani Pedrosa also lit up the timing sheets as he clocked a time of 1'59.803 - putting the two Repsol Honda riders out of reach from the rest of the pack, while the other Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was fourth in 2'00.541 - all these times recorded in the first forty-five minutes of the day.
After this virtual qualifying session, the teams resumed the normal testing programme. Stoner spent the day working on his engine management system and his final chassis comparison check, making a final choice in which direction to take ahead of the Qatar test on the 13th and 14th March. Pedrosa also worked on engine mappings and then further suspension work in the morning. In the afternoon he concentrated on completing a long run, although not race simulation. Dovizioso made further chassis comparisons, geometric changes and tried a few electronic settings to assist corner entry, in the afternoon he also did a long run.
The team will now pack up in Malaysia and head west to Qatar for the final test of the winter before the season opening race on March 20th.
CASEY STONER – 1st - 1'59.665
"We had a good day comparing the chassis' again and I'm happy we have made our decision on which one we'll use for the season. We also tried a lot of electronics with engine braking and found improvements in a few areas, and some losses in others so we need to rectify these. The chassis we've chosen always behaves in the way we want it to, no matter what set-up we use, we are also able to adapt it fairly easily. So when we get to Qatar in a few weeks we'll be able to test different set-up's at the same time and get more track time on it. Some changes can be quite time consuming to do, so having the two bikes with identical chassis will be useful. The test here has been very productive for us, we did a long run here today - almost race distance - and gathered some key information. I'm feeling more and more comfortable on the RC212V and I can't wait to get to Qatar".
DANI PEDROSA – 2nd - 1'59.803
"We did a very good three days testing; both tests here in Sepang have been very positive. We improved the braking and worked a lot with different chassis configurations and electronics. It's been a much better winter test than last year, even we know that everybody will improve for the first race. I'm leaving Sepang satisfied and I think testing in Qatar will give further opportunity to check our work at another circuit, with a different layout and track conditions to what we have had here. I've spent more or less the same time with last year's chassis and the modified 2011 chassis and my best lap time was with the 2011 version, but it will be nice to check it again in Qatar and take there the final decision. I think the bike and myself are in a good shape and we are getting to Qatar with more confidence than last year, but we need to keep our feet on the ground because we had many pro blems at the beginning of last season and then we improved a lot, so the others can do the same. Nothing is clear until we start racing".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 4th - 2'00.541
"The good point is that we are really fast, and to have the first two tests like this is a great thing. Also, when we tried the race simulation we were fast so this is confirmed that we are strong and can fight. However, after completing the simulation I discovered a problem in the front - as I had in some races in 2009 - after a few laps I lose some grip in the middle of the corner. I will leave this test very happy but we're far from perfect, we need to study what we changed that caused this problem as it occurred after we added just five litres more of fuel. Anyway, even with this problem I completed many fast laps and we are very fast compared to last year. I feel without the problem I had in the front of the bike, I would be able to achieve a similar pace to Dani and Casey, so I'm happy about this".
Bautista ends Sepang test on a positive note
Rizla Suzuki has completed the second pre-season test with Álvaro Bautista taking almost half-of-a-second off his best ever time at the Malaysian circuit.
Bautista recorded a fastest time of 2’01.194 from his 34 laps around the 5,548m Sepang track to give him eighth place overall on the timesheets. Despite a slow front end crash at turn nine earlier in the day – that Bautista walked away from uninjured – Suzuki’s Spanish star was able to continue with the comprehensive test schedule, despite still suffering with the after effects of yesterday’s headache that caused him to require clinical treatment.
Bautista was able to try some new Bridgestone tyres today as well as a number of geometry settings and refine some of the earlier settings that he tried during the first two days of the test. Honda’s Casey Stoner finished the test as the quickest rider as he became the first person to lap the Sepang circuit in a sub two minute time.
Suzuki’s engineers now have two weeks to work on the data from this test before the final pre-season test of 2011 takes place at Qatar. The first race on the 2011 calendar will be held under floodlights on Sunday 20th March also at Losail in Qatar.
"I felt a little better this morning, especially after the Clinica guys gave me a special vitamin drip. On my first run I made my best Sepang time so far, but actually I made a couple of mistakes and it really should have been a 2.00 something, after that everybody was using older tyres and the track is getting hotter so it gets less easy to make similar times, but I was happy to be able to make mid 2.01’s on old tyres. The test wasn’t the best on my side, because my condition wasn’t great and I didn’t make the long run today – sorry to Suzuki’s engineers about that – but we have improved the bike in areas that I really believe will help us in different conditions. The Suzuki is now stable, has good feeling and it’s fast – I hope we have the same feeling in the colder conditions of Qatar - now I just want to race!"
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"A little bit of a strange test but at least we got some clear results! Thanks also to Nobu and the factory engineers for their efforts; they got through a lot of very detailed work that will help us in the future. Álvaro is maybe a little disappointed in his ultimate pace, but eighth overall on the sheets is really nothing to complain about given that we all know the difference between Álvaro ‘the rider’ and Álvaro ‘the racer’. The team has been working very well and very calmly, and it now feels like time to race. The competition this year and the depth of field is absolutely brutal, we hope that Rizla Suzuki and Álvaro is part of the fight!"
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow make big progress in Sepang
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow declared themselves satisfied with the progress at the end of a hugely productive three-day MotoGP test session in Malaysia today.
Edwards was thrilled with his work over an exhausting three days as typically searing hot and sunny conditions dominated the test at the 5.5km Sepang circuit.
The experienced American, making final preparations for his ninth MotoGP campaign, spent the entire test working on a range of different geometry settings to find the maximum turning performance with a new YZR-M1 chassis he first evaluated earlier this month in the first Sepang test.
Edwards was also delighted with significant progress in improving rear grip as he concentrated on fine-tuning his set-up to suit the harder option Bridgestone rear tyre rather than pushing for an outright fast lap time. He finished in sixth position overall with a best time 2.00.966 to finish just ahead of reigning World Champion and fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.
Crutchlow was able to show his true potential on the final day after a difficult start to the test, which is the second of three pre-season outings for the British rider. Crutchlow had to overcome a nasty bout of food poisoning picked up on his way to Kuala Lumpur that left him a weakened physical state for the entire test. Two crashes on the first day were quickly forgotten as he concentrated on making progress with consistency on the hard compound Bridgestone tyre with a range of set-up changes. He also focused on perfecting his riding style and made big strides in adapting to the b raking technique of the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine to finish in 14th position.
Edwards and Crutchlow will be back on track under the spectacular Losail International Circuit floodlights for the conclusion to the winter testing schedule on March 13/14.
Colin Edwards, 6th - 2'00.966:
"This test has been awesome for us and I've had a lot of fun, even though the conditions have been really extreme with the heat. I've got a lot of experience and I've been riding motorcycles forever, but even I'm still learning a lot and I've really enjoyed coming here and changing the bike to see what does and doesn't work. I've figured out a lot of things with the new bike and the Bridgestone tyres and I've also learned that for an old guy, I'm not finished yet. I spent most of the test working on the new chassis, mainly experimenting with geometry and we made a lot of progress. My team is really smart and together we played around with a few ideas and got the bike to a point where I'm really satisfied. We improved front feeling compared to the last test and we can finish the corner a lot better. I'm really happy with the progress with rear traction too. Yamaha has done a great job and we leave Malaysia tired but with a lot of confidence. I'm now looking forward to getting Qatar and starting the racing."
Cal Crutchlow, 14th - 2'02.034:
"It has certainly been an eventful week and the good thing is that it ended in positive fashion. The food poisoning I picked up on the way to Sepang didn't help my preparations and I've felt weak all through the test as a result. Two crashes on the first day didn't help my confidence and day two was a struggle to be honest. We made a lot of changes to the bike without helping me feel more comfortable. My team have b een fantastic though and given me great support and the last day was much better. For the first time I was able to do a decent lap time, but the important thing is I was able to be more consistent and feel more confident with the bike. We made improvements to the front and rear of the bike and I'm pretty happy with a low 2.02. The front felt more stable and while I'd like a bit more rear grip, we've made progress in that area as well. Qatar will be another big learning curve for me because I know the track, but I haven't ridden a MotoGP bike there and I've never raced under the floodlights. I'm confident with the set-up changes we made here that I'll be competitive in Qatar too."
HONDA SWEEPS TOP FOUR SPOTS OF SEPANG TEST
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) led a Honda sweep of the top four spots by topping the time sheets for the third day in a row by running the fastest ever lap of the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.
The 2007 World Champion wasted no time getting up to speed, taking advantage of the relatively cooler morning temperature to dip under two minutes on his second tour of the 5548m track. Stoner’s lap of 1m, 59.665s was half a second faster than he’d gone on Wednesday and a target that proved untouchable. The only rider to make a serious run at Stoner was team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V). The Spaniard also dropped below two minutes on his second lap, then improved his time on his third lap to finish at 1m, 59.803s.
After his morning run for the record, Stoner worked with his technicians to decide which chassis to use going forward, as well as testing the electronics on the engine braking system. Then followed a simulated race run of 16 laps – the race is 20 laps – during which his pace was much faster than that of the 2010 race-winner. Pedrosa wasn’t as certain on his chassis choice – he tested both the 2010 and a modified 2011 version – and will reserve his final decision for the test in Qatar just prior to the season kick-off. He also worked through various engine mapping and suspension solutions.
Third on the day went to Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), the fastest rider at the previous test here three weeks ago. The Italian second year MotoGP rider was fastest on the seventh of his 46 laps. His best time of 2m, 0.163s was also under the previous best lap of 2m, 0.518s set by his close friend Valentino Rossi in 2009. After putting his name among the leaders, Simoncelli spent most of the afternoon doing a simulated race run of 21 laps. "Super Sic" couldn’t match his Wednesday race pace, but put it down to choosing the harder Bridgestone rear tyre, which wasn’t as effective today.
So complete has been Honda’s domination of the pre-season testing, that Honda RC212V riders have not only been fastest on all six days, an unprecedented feat over the first two tests, but other than the first day of the early February test Honda riders finished one-two every day.
And today Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) made it four Hondas in a row by nearly joining his fellow Honda riders under the previous record lap. Like Stoner, Pedrosa, and Simoncelli, Dovizioso used the harder compound front Bridgestone and the softer rear tyre to set his fast time early on. His successful outing finished with a 15-lap endurance run. The one hitch in his test was a lack of mid-corner grip while running with a full fuel tank, something he and his team will work to resolve in the test prior to the first round in Qatar.
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was fastest in the hot middle of the day. His best lap of 2m, 1.328s came on his 20th of 48. The time was his fastest ever at Sepang as he continued the development work on the Honda RC212V. The Japanese star found a good baseline from which to improve at the final test of the pre-season in a few weeks’ time.
Toni Elias (LRC Honda MotoGP) had an exhausting day of development. The Spaniard opted not to perform a race simulation, instead working in short bursts to improve the set-up of the Honda RC212V. Other than a five-lap run early in the day, the 2010 Moto2 World Champion never ran more than three laps in a row, while trying to find his comfort zone after a year away from the premier class.
The teams now have just under three weeks before the March 13-14 final pre-season test at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. For the first time ever, the race weekend will be spread over four days, with the first day of practice on Thursday, March 17 and working up to the season-opener under the lights on Sunday evening, March 20.
HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 1m, 59.665s
"We had a good day comparing the chassis' again and I'm happy we have made our decision on which one we'll use for the season. We also tried a lot of electronics with engine braking and found improvements in a few areas, and some losses in others so we need to rectify these. The chassis we've chosen always behaves in the way we want it to; no matter what set-up we use, we are also able to adapt it fairly easily. So when we get to Qatar in a few weeks we'll be able to test different set-up's at the same time and get more track time on it. Some changes can be quite time consuming to do, so having the two bikes with identical chassis will be useful. The test here has been very productive for us; we did a long run here today - almost race distance - and gathered some key information. I'm feeling more and more comfortable on the RC212V and I can't wait to get to Qatar."
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd, 1m, 59.803s
"We did a very good three days testing; both tests here in Sepang have been very positive. We improved the braking and worked a lot with different chassis configurations and electronics. It's been a much better winter test than last year, even if we know that everybody will improve for the first race. I'm leaving Sepang satisfied and I think testing in Qatar will give further opportunity to check our work at another circuit, with a different layout and track conditions to what we have had here. I've spent more or less the same time with last year's chassis and the modified 2011 chassis and my best lap time was with the 2011 version, but it will be nice to check it again in Qatar and take there the final decision. I think the bike and myself are in a good shape and we are getting to Qatar with more confidence than last year, but we need to keep our feet on the ground because we had many problems at the beginning of last season and then we improved a lot, so the others can do the same. Nothing is clear until we start racing."
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 3rd, 2m, 0.163s
"I am very happy for the time I did this morning. But today we were a bit confused during the race simulation. Yesterday, with the hard rubber I could be very fast, but this afternoon, from the beginning, I was considerably worse; I could not do the same time. Anyway, I'm pretty calm, because the performance today was determined by a choice of tyres, which was not just a good idea - maybe it would be better to opt for a soft rubber like other people did - and I was fast in in the race simulation. But I repeat, we are not at all worried and even go away from Malaysia very happy with the work done in these three days and also happy to change the track because after six days of evidence in these two tests at the Sepang circuit, I was quite exhausted by now."
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 4th, 2m, 0.541s
"The good point is that we are really fast, and to have the first two tests like this is a great thing. Also, when we tried the race simulation we were fast, so this is confirmed that we are strong and can fight. However, after completing the simulation I discovered a problem in the front - as I had in some races in 2009 - after a few laps I lose some grip in the middle of the corner. I will leave this test very happy, but we're far from perfect. We need to study what we changed that caused this problem as it occurred after we added just five litres more of fuel. Anyway, even with this problem I completed many fast laps and we are very fast compared to last year. I feel without the problem I had in the front of the bike, I would be able to achieve a similar pace to Dani and Casey, so I'm happy about this."
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Gresini Honda): 9th, 2m, 1.328s
"Finally we have finished these tests, which have been very challenging for me. We have done so much work that I was partly satisfied and partly not. The team supported me a lot and together we are able to understand the way to go about the technical solutions to be taken for the season. In the end I'm happy and I can not wait to arrive in Qatar for the next test and begin to build on the great work on this circuit. I am happy to work with these guys and I hope to shortly give them satisfaction."
Toni Elias (LCR Honda): 16th, 2m, 2.941s 2m, 2.410s
"If we consider the three days in total we took a step forward on suspension set-up and chassis geometry. Now that we have a much clearer idea of the direction to go in I am happy with the work we have done. I'm not as happy with my lap time, but we were too busy working through other things. These days we have done several comparative tests and found a different feeling on the bike compared with the first outing here three weeks ago. Now we will check the data we gathered to be more competitive in Qatar for the last test session before the season starts. I want to thank the guys for their efforts because they are helping me a lot to adapt to this bike."
LAST DAY OF TESTING FOR DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM IN MALAYSIA
The Ducati Marlboro Team concluded the second Malaysian test with the knowledge that important work awaits them over the two weeks before the next outing, in Qatar. After a positive start, the progress was slower than what the team had hoped for, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finishing the third day 11th and 12th, respectively.
The Italian rider lost an entire day of testing, as he spent Wednesday in bed with a bad flu. Today he was back aboard the GP11, but despite hard work with his crew and lowering his best time compared to Tuesday, the necessary margin of improvement is still significant.
Nicky Hayden had similar difficulty making steps forward, despite his feeling with the bike improving steadily over the three days.
Next the team will meet with its fans on March 4 in Bologna. After that, the riders will be back on track on March 13 and 14 at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit for the final winter test, prior to the MotoGP season opener at the same venue.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team), 11th, 2:01.469 (59 laps)
"We can’t be satisfied with this test because we didn’t reach our goals, which were to finish close to the top six and especially to reduce the gap to the front. Instead, we’re 1.8 seconds back, and our rhythm is also lacking. After the first day, we thought we could do it. We had started well and were able to make the bike work with the hard tyres, which is good. After that though, we didn’t take steps forward. Although we have some good ideas for the electronics that I’m optimistic will solve those problems relatively easily, I’m not as confident about the chassis setup. We tried hard, but we haven’t yet managed it. I’m able to brake hard, but I’m still having trouble in mid-corner. It was definitely a disadvantage to only ride two days instead of three because we had to rush at the end and try many things in order to understand as much as we could. We were prepared for that possibility, but it started to drizzle, making it impossible to push. There could be some good solutions for the future, but we weren’t able to confirm them. This circuit hasn’t traditionally been favorable to the Ducati. The next test is in Qatar, where the track is different, so we’ll see if we can go faster there."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team), 12th, 2:01.469 (71 laps)
"We’ve tested a lot of options over the course of this test, like different geometry and electronics. We’ve just been trying to improve the feeling and eliminate stuff that didn’t work, focusing mainly on finding a base setup that could work for this season. We’re still behind, not because of any major problem, but a combination of little details that prevented us from getting the results that we’d hoped for. I’ve got a good bike and team, and we definitely need to do better than this. We’ve got a lot more work to do, but we’ve made progress this week, and we’ve still got some options we can try at the next test. It’s going to be a competitive season, no doubt. A lot of guys are going fast and pushing hard. We’ll have to work hard to try to take full advantage of this bike’s potential. It’s been three long days, and our team—everybody from engineers to mechanics to tire guys to suspension guys—has worked really hard the whole time."
PLEASING END TO THREE-DAY MALAYSIAN TEST
The second round of tests at the Sepang circuit ended in postive fashion for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini. Determined and consistent, Marco Simoncelli found further confidence with his Honda RC212V, and was in amongst the front group throughout. He finished the test with an impressive time just four-tenths off the fastest rider Casey Stoner, and more importantly yesterday he rode at a consistently fast race pace. Less than month remains before the first race in Qatar and "Super Sic" is increasingly convinced he has made good progress and will be capable of fighting for podium finishes. It was a satisfying test also for Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama, who strung together almost 200 laps over the three days, in his attempts to clarify the technical changes to make before the season begins.
Marco Simoncelli (3rd 2'00"163 46 laps) "I am really happy about the lap-time I managed this morning, although we were a bit confused during the race simulation I did. Yesterday with the hard tyre I was able to go very fast, but this afternoon from the off I felt worse and couldn't lap at the same pace. Anyway, I'm pretty calm because today's performance was more down to a poor choice of tyre, perhaps I would have been better to go with the softer one like the others and I would have been quick in the race simulation. However I repeat, I'm not at all worried and leave Malaysia very content with the work we've done over these three days and also happy that we get to change tracks now because after six days of tests at Sepang I'm slightly "overdone"!
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th 2'01"328 48 laps) "This test finally comes to an end and it's been quite a challenge for me. We have worked so hard, and in some parts I'm satisfied and in others not so. The team has really supported me a lot and together we have been able to understand the path to take in terms of technical settings for the season ahead. In the end I'm happy and I can't wait to get to Qatar for the next test so we can build on the great work we have done here. I'm really happy to be working with these guys and I hope to give them something back in return soon."
Fausto Gresini "This second test in Malaysia has made us understand that Simoncelli has grown a lot since last year and is capable of being consistently fast. He has laid down an impressive lap-time and is amongst the top riders, but he also did a good race simulation - even if we did realise that we could do even better when we take a look at yesterday's times. Nonetheless this is all part of the experience you must gain, and it's normal that this kind of thing happens in the tests as it helps us get ready for the championship proper. I'm also happy with the progress the team has made as a whole; with the extra support from HRC and the bike that Honda has made available to us. I'm also impressed with Marco's physical preparation compared to last year. They are all steps forward that propel us towards a season that should give us a lot of joy. It's also been a positive three days for Aoyama who never even went for a fast lap-time and focused on finding the right settings to adopt for the forthcoming season. We have a great squad and I'm sure we'll be very entertaining this year. "
Karel Abraham ended the official MotoGP test at Sepang in 18th place
Although the Cardion AB Motoracing rider was faster again, he ended the official MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia in 18th place and completed the timesheet.
With the heat having intensified and the track temperature reaching over 60°C, Karel Abraham completed 55 laps on board his Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and set a best time of 2.02,506.
"I cannot be satisfied with this result because I know that I can be even faster," said Abraham who was 2,506 seconds behind the fastest rider. "At the morning, when the other riders set a fastest times, we worked on the motorycle and at the afternoon we cannot beat them due to heat."
"Team mechanics worked on the set-up, especially on the traction of the motorcycle," continued Abraham after his return to the garage of the Cardion AB Motoracing team. "We found out something and now we are hoping that we will be ready for the next test."
Having completed two official MotoGP tests at Sepang in Malaysia, the Cardion AB Motoracing rider will have another chance to get familiarize with his Ducati during the next official MotoGP test at Doha in Qatar one week before the first race of the 2011 season.
LAST DAY OF TESTING AT SEPANG
Third and last day of testing for the MotoGP at Sepang. Satisfaction for Loris Capirossi, who ended the session, after 39 laps, with the best time in 2'01.493, just a few thousandths of Hayden and Rossi, the Ducati Official Team duo. Were not enough 42 laps for Randy De Puniet to improve yesterday's position. The French, however, was able to lower his lap time of 449 thousandths with his 2'02.386. The next appointment is fixed on March 13, in Qatar, where the riders will face the last test before the start of the season.
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team - 13th fastest lap time in 2'01.493
"Today we worked better. We have done important development on the bike. My lap time is almost identical to that of the team Ducati, for us this is cause for great satisfaction. We still have a lot to work, with the right method the results will come".
Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team - 15th fastest lap time in 2'02.155
"I can not be happy for this day. I found in my bike the same trouble, especially when braking and also when entering the corners.I remain confident for the next test in Qatar, where Ducati has always achieved good results".