Press releases from the MotoGP teams after day 1 of the second test at Sepang. Included is a video lap of the Sepang circuit, shot from on-board Casey Stoner's Honda RC213V:
Mixed Weather Kicks Off Second Sepang Test
Yamaha Factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were back in action today for the second official IRTA test of 2012 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Weather proved to be the biggest challenging factor for the day with rain sweeping in after lunch to wash out much of the afternoon's testing.
Lorenzo and Spies made the most of the dry time they had to make a final shake down on differing YZR-M1 engine specifications to finalize a standard set-up for the start of the season. The focus is also on finding a solution to the chattering problem affecting all teams on the track.
Position : 3rd Time: 2'02.436 Laps: 22
"We started with a different engine spec to the one we used in the last test. Today it was difficult to make any comparisons as the track was in much worse condition than last time and the lap times were much slower. The rain also meant we couldn't finish everything we wanted to today on the track so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Position : 4th Time: 2'02.819 Laps: 31
"Everything was good this morning; we were just waiting for the weather to improve in the afternoon. The Yamaha engineers delivered a lot for us to test again, it's important we go the right way with the parts and not worry too much about what everyone else is doing. We have to focus on the task at hand which is what we're doing and getting through all the updates methodically. We will keep working and hope for some good weather in the next two days."
The Repsol Honda Team returns to Sepang on top
The Repsol Honda Team had a positive start to the second Official MotoGP test in 2012 in Malaysia.
Honda factory riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa topped the time sheets at the end of the first day both happy with the feeling they had with their 1000cc machine.
A thunderstorm stopped the activity on track early in the afternoon, and Dani took the opportunity to ride a few laps on the RC213V in wet conditions for the first time while team mate Casey chose to remain in the garage instead and discuss testing plans for the second day with his crew.
The current MotoGP World Champion has been working on various set ups and he set the best lap of the day with a time of 2'01.761 on lap 8 of 16 completed.
Dani focused on the chassis geometry, rider position and power delivery of the new engine and finished as the second fastest rider of the day with 2'02.005. On his last run, the Spanish rider had to stop on track for an engine problem that technicians will analyse tonight.
CASEY STONER 1st - 2'01.761
"It was really hard to leave Switzerland, Ally woke up for a feed at the same time as I was leaving for the airport and I didn't really want to leave! The first day of testing has gone well, we started off where we left last time but the track conditions have been a little worse. We have a some work to do, this morning we managed to compare a few things back to back, we've tried a new set of brake disks to try and reduce the brake fade that I've been having at the last test so that's been an improvement. We're trying a few other things with set up, to shorten the wheelbase and get a little more traction. We have a couple of things we can try to change the stiffness and also move the weight around a little bit to try and upset the chatter and reduce the frequency. This afternoon I have no doubt we would have gone a second or a second and a half faster, but the rain came out and the track didn't dry up enough to warrant going out so we'll wait until tomorrow"
DANI PEDROSA 2nd - 2'02.005
"It was a good test for us, we made a couple of good runs. The track was very dirty at the beginning of the practice and you could feel the grip level was not so good, but it's been improving little by little during the day and we could work through our testing program. It was much warmer than in the last test; after the first run I was sweating more than in the three days we came here last time! Today we did some tests on the engine, to see how can we manage the power delivery, and also worked on the chassis. Also, on the rider position to work on the balance and it was positive. In the afternoon I did some laps in the rain, but on my second run it started to dry up quickly, so we finished earlier. On my last run, I had a small issue, I saw a red light on the dashboard, so I took the clutch and stopped. We have to analyse now what it was".
MOTOGP PRESEASON RESUMES WITH SECOND SEPANG VISIT
The first day of the second Sepang test took place today in less than ideal conditions, with grip significantly affected by a car race that had taken place here last weekend. A heavy rainstorm then put paid to any further progress, limiting the riders' track time to just 24 laps in the case of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista. His fifteenth lap proved to be his best, stopping the clock at 2'02.959. Without any new updates to test on the bike the team concentrated on making set-up changes to their existing package as Alvaro continues to familiarise himself with the Honda RC213V.
Alvaro Bautista (2'02"959 - 24 laps) "The track surface was in poor condition and it was very difficult to push so we focused on experimenting with some different set-up solutions to increase my confidence on the 1000cc bike. The rainfall brought our day to an early conclusion because with the already precarious conditions it was better to leave everything else we had planned until tomorrow. I had a miraculous escape this morning in turn five when I basically crashed but managed to keep the bike upright on my elbow!"
An onboard lap of Sepang with Casey Stoner
The RC213V of the Repsol Honda Team rider was the only bike to go under the two minute mark in the opening Malaysian test
Reigning MotoGP World Champion, Casey Stoner, returns to Sepang this week - the circuit at which he was the fastest rider in the opening test of the year and at which he continued to head the timesheets today. In the accompanying video, an onboard camera placed on the Repsol Honda Team rider's bike allows us to experience Stoner's speedy laps in the first person.
The 5.548 metre-long Sepang circuit in Malaysia is once again the scene of official testing this week, and Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa are fine-tuning their bikes on one of the longest tracks on the calendar. Five left hand corners and ten right handers are mixed in with long straights (the home straight measures 920m) to provide an ideal layout for overtaking and high top speeds.
26 days ago it was Stoner who was the only rider to break the two minute barrier in the Sepang test. His time of 1'59.607 was the quickest lap of his two days on track. From today through Thursday, he and his Pedrosa will be undertaking further work on their bikes, and on day one the duo have shown that they are once again on great form.
Rain affects day 1 at Sepang Test
The second winter test in Sepang, Malaysia, began today, but the riders' and technicians' work schedule was affected first by a dirty track surface and later by rain.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden nonetheless discovered a number of positive aspects in the shortened day. The Italian decided to take advantage of the wet track in order to try out some changes to the rain setup, while the American received confirmation that the recent operation on his left shoulder was successful, and despite his fitness still not being at 100 percent, he was able to start working with the GP12.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th, 2:03.132 (32 laps)
"I'm obviously still not at 100 percent, but considering I had shoulder surgery three weeks ago, it went better than I expected. I felt much better than at the last test and was able to give some good feedback, so I owe a big thanks to Dr Ting and his staff. This is the first time I could really ride this bike well, and I enjoyed it. The chassis gives you a lot of feedback, and it's easier to understand the limit. We made some changes throughout the day and I pretty much got quicker every exit. It would have been nice to ride in the rain, but I didn't want to do something silly and crash on the shoulder. Hopefully it's not too sore when I wake up so I can do another half-day or so tomorrow."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 8th, 2:03.245 (39 laps)
"Paradoxically, we actually started too early this morning! It would've been better to start at 11 like the others, because before that the asphalt was quite dirty, and by the time the conditions started to improve, the tyre already had about fifteen laps on it. We decided to save the second tyre for the afternoon, but it started raining after lunch. As a result, we didn't get much done today. We didn't even start working with the new software that we have available for this test. On the plus side, we were able to confirm that the feeling in the wet is still pretty good with the GP12. Weather permitting, and with a couple more tyres at our disposal, I think that tomorrow we'll be able to work a little more comprehensively and understand things a bit more."
BRADL BACK ON TRACK AT HUMID AND RAINY SEPANG CIRCUIT
Sepang, 28 Feb: four weeks after the first 2012 official outing, the premier class teams and riders returned to Malaysia for the second MotoGP winter test for a 3-day practices session proceeding the fine tune of their 1000cc prototypes ahead the season kick off on the 8th of April in Qatar.
On day one LCR Honda MotoGP Team rookie Stefan Bradl and his colleagues were greeted by warm humid weather conditions including some poor rain at lunchtime but the German rider completed 31 laps aboard his Honda RC213V getting the 10th fastest lap of the day (2’03.820) whilst Stoner topped the time sheet on 2’01.761.
Stefan - 10th: “Well... the surface conditions today were not very good due to the rain but we could make our first long run in the wet to see my feeling on wet tyres. I lapped 2 seconds slower than my first test here but on these conditions I take the most of the bike and we will proceed our set up work in the next two days. Technically speaking we have compared the 2 chassis spec. working on rear suspension too and we have tested a new map which includes the wheelie software”.