Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the final day of the Sepang 2 MotoGP test:
Yamaha Complete Successful Second Sepang Test
Yamaha Factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies today completed the final session of the three day IRTA test at the Sepang International circuit in Sepang. The second outing for the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1 proved to be a great success with the riders getting the opportunity to work through a number of updates including chassis, electronics and set up in both wet and dry conditions.
Both riders suffered crashes this morning but were unhurt. Lorenzo spent the final afternoon engaged in a race simulation run, pleased with the results having been able to deliver consistent fast laps over an extended period around the 2’01 second mark. He finishes the second Sepang test in fourth position, 0.404 seconds behind Casey Stoner. Spies leaves Sepang in confident mood having bonded well with the 1000cc bike in both wet and dry conditions, taking his first ever wet laps of the circuit yesterday afternoon. The Texan wrapped up the test in eighth place, 0.959 seconds from first.
Position : 4th Time: 2'00.877 Laps: 52
“Well, this afternoon was one of the hardest race simulations of my career because the 1000 is more tiring to ride and the rear tyre seems to drop a lot after three or four laps. After this the feeling stays the same but it’s very different to last year, it’s almost like racing in the rain trying to control the rear in the corner exits and acceleration. I managed to finish the simulation with a good pace so all in all it has been a very positive test, thank you to Yamaha for their hard work."
Position : 8th Time: 2'01.432 Laps: 28
“Today was good, we unfortunately had a small crash but we learnt a lot and got to test some new electronic settings which were a big improvement. We also tried some different shock settings which were a big step forward. It’s a shame we crashed but we know from this test that the bike has great potential so we can go to Jerez with confidence."
Strong finish for the Repsol Honda Team in Sepang
The Repsol Honda team leave the Sepang circuit satisfied with a job well done.
Casey Stoner set the fastest time of the day with a flying lap of 2'00.473 and team mate Dani Pedrosa recorded the second fastest time with a lap of 2'00.648, just 0.175 from Stoner.
Despite missing yesterday, the two Repsol Honda riders have been able to complete their testing program planned for Malaysia. Casey and Dani spent the test working on their RC213V chassis', focusing on reducing the chattering and both reported a slight improvement.
The next test will be at the Jerez circuit at the end of March, a different track where they will be able to fine tune their machine in preparation for the first race in Qatar on April 8.
CASEY STONER 1st 2'00.473
"Again we've been unable to profit from the full three days of the test here in Sepang, the first day we only manages about 16 laps before the rain came and then yesterday we weren't able to get out at all. So today it's been good to have some nice weather, get out on track and find some different solutions on the bike, we've been trying a few different things with electronics to have the engine character the same way we like it. We've also tried shortening the wheelbase, aiming to reduce the chattering and we've been successful in decreasing it slightly but at the moment we're unable to eliminate it completely, so we still have quite a lot of work to do. The chassis balance feels good as does the traction on the bike, it's turning well b ut we really need to get rid of the chatter, in general we are happy with the bike".
DANI PEDROSA 2nd 2'00.648
"In general we've been working a lot on the chassis at this test, to find the best compromise. We tried different ideas and set ups and we leave quite happy with the feelings. This is a very specific track, so it's important to have clear ideas for the future. We also made some progress on the braking and the chassis feels a little better because we have a less chatter compared to the first test. We need to keep improving on entry and middle of the corner, but I think that we can expect improvements when we start to work more in depth with the engine and the electronics, which we will do in the Jerez test. Today I also used a different screen to be more comfortable on the straight which felt better".
Stoner on song at second Sepang test
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
28 February - 1 March 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard & Extra-Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard
Weather: Tue: Dry/Wet, Wed: Wet/Dry, Thu: Dry. Ambient 26-34°C; Track 34-59°C (Bridgestone measurement)
The second Sepang pre-season test concluded today with fine weather on the final day allowing teams to make up for lost time following extended rainy periods over the first two days of the test.
In a repeat performance of the first Sepang test, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was again the fastest rider, stopping the clocks at 2:00.473 on a combination of the hard front and medium rear tyre. Dani Pedrosa’s best time of 2:00.648 was good enough to ensure a Honda lock-out at the top of the timesheets, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest Yamaha in Sepang, his best lap of 2:00.802 placing him third overall.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of the second Sepang test was a gap of only 1.1 seconds among the fastest laps recorded by the eleven riders comprising the factory and satellite Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams. Colin Edwards’ tireless work saw him cut the gap to the prototype bikes drastically as he set a best time just 3.2 seconds shy of Stoner’s benchmark, while Avintia Racing also improved their performance with a best lap that was 1.6 seconds faster than they managed at the first Sepang test.
Bridgestone’s tyre development programme now heads to Europe where it will supply tyres and engineers for both the private CRT test at Aragon on March 8-9 and the final pre-season test of the year at Jerez from March 23-25.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“I am pleased with the performance of the 2012 specification tyres at the second Sepang test as track conditions varied greatly over the three days. Tyre durability is very important at Sepang and I was encouraged at how the tyres performed during the longer runs as there was very little variation in lap time which indicates that the grip characteristics of the tyres over their operating life are quite predictable.
“We also continued evaluation of the experimental front tyre we introduced at the first Sepang test and overall the rider feedback on all the 2012 spec tyres continues to be very positive. We leave Malaysia having successfully completed our testing programme so I would like to thank all the teams and riders for their support during this time.”
BRADL CONCLUDES SEPANG TEST SESSION WITH THE NINTH FASTEST TIME
Sepang, 1st March: the third and final day of testing at Sepang was held in hot and dry conditions with all riders out on track upon opening, including all four Hondas, with Stoner rising to the top of the classification on 2’00.473.
The premier class riders put their new bikes through their paces at the 5.548km track and in his third MotoGP test on the LCR Honda RC213V, Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl finished with the ninth fastest time. The young German, who had one “day off” yesterday together with his Honda colleagues, put in 54 laps with a best time of 2’01.492 in preparation for the forthcoming season. Bradl and his squad will be back on track in Spain (Jerez) for the last pre-season testing session on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of March.
Bradl - 9th: “Yesterday we sat out the second day of testing so today was a tough day for me and the guys. After 54 laps I feel a bit tired as the temperature was very high today but I am leaving Malaysia with a good feeling and a good base set up for the future.Together with HRC engineers support we have tested some engine mapping to improve my riding style and the power delivery. I am pretty satisfied about my laptime and the gap to the front is acceptable: if we continue with this progresses I am sure that positive results will arrive soon.”
Positive progress for Dovizioso and Crutchlow in Malaysia
A weather-hit three-day MotoGP test session at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia ended in positive fashion for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow today.
Torrential rain on the first and second day restricted the track time available to Dovizioso and Crutchlow but both took advantage of hot, humid and dry conditions on the final day to carry out crucial development work on the new Yamaha YZR-M1 1000cc machine.
Dovizioso was in dazzl ing form and the Italian completed 54-laps on his way to setting a best time of 2.00.802 that left him in an outstanding third place on the final timesheets. He was only 0.329s behind reigning World Champion Casey Stoner in first position and he finished the fastest non-factory rider.
Close to full fitness after breaking his right collarbone in a training accident in early January, Dovizioso got through a packed testing schedule, which included experimenting with different riding positions to help him feel more comfortable on the YZR-M1.
He also successfully analysed a revised Yamaha engine spec that improved corner entry and on the final afternoon he comp leted a long run of 15-laps to understand the endurance performance of Bridgestone's new softer construction tyres designed specifically for the 1000cc machines.
The second Sepang test was also a big success for British rider Crutchlow, who declared himself satisfied with the updated Yamaha engine made available in Sepang.
The 26-year-old set a personal best time of 2.00.986, which was only just over 0.1s slower than factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and he set the fifth best time to continue his excellent pre-season form for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.
Andrea Dovizioso - 2.00.802 min:
“Despite the rain disrupting the first two days, this has been a really positive test and I am very happy. I did my first laps in the rain on the Yamaha and I had a very positive feeling. The engine was very smooth and I could manage the sliding but one very important area was my physical condition. My shoulder was much better than the first test here and this enabled me to understand the potential of the YZR-M1 machine much more. I am much more confident on the bike and I am happy with the lap time and the position and we have done a very good job understanding many things here. I like the new engine because it helps with the corner entry, and this was already a really strong point of the Yamaha. I did a long run of 1 5-laps today and it was important to learn the characteristics of the bike over a longer distance. It was really interesting to understand about tyre wear and we have some work to do but the potential of the bike is already at a very high level. Now I am really looking forward to the next test in Jerez because it is a completely different track with different temperature and this will be good experience for me to understand the bike even more.”
Cal Crutchlow - 2.00.986 min:
“I am really happy because the weather obviously played a big part the first two days but we were able to get some dry track time today and make some good progress with the bike. I like the new engine from Yamaha and credit to them because they have been working hard and the improvement bodes well for the start of the season. I'm happy with my lap time because this is not my favouritetrack at all and I am fifth fastest and very close to the top three. A major positive too is that I am very consistent and this is something that I have improved from last year. This gives me a lot of confidence and encouragement and I'm really enjoying riding the 1000cc bike. I did a long run of 12-laps and the new tyres were sliding around quite a bit. It made it very physical but quite good but i t looks like tyre management is going to be more important than ever. The bike is working well at Sepang but now I'm curious to see how it performs in Jerez. That's a completely different track and the weather will be much cooler, so this will give us another indication of the potential of the bike.”
BAUTISTA CONCLUDES SECOND SEPANG TEST IN POSITIVE FASHION
After two days of inclement weather the conditions finally held out on the third and last day of testing at Sepang, allowing the teams to work without interruption. Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista worked intensely despite a minor crash this morning in turn eight and now the rider and crew can head home feeling satisfied and confident before returning to duty at Jerez from 23 to 25 March for the final test of the 2012 preseason.
Alvaro Bautista ( 2’ 01” 275 - 51 laps) “I am satisfied because we were finally able to get a full day under our belt after being here for two days already and only managing to get out on track for the first morning. Obviously it was a tough day because we had to pack everything in, so we started out first thing this morning and only took a short break at the hottest part of the day. We worked mainly on adapting to the 1000cc bike and even though I was tired by the end of the day I was satisfied with our progress. Unfortunately I made a mistake on my first lap of one run when the tyres were still not up to temperature and ran wide onto the astroturf and then had a small crash. Luckily I wasn't hurt and we were able to continue working on the other bike, mainly with suspension settings, and putting together a decent rhythm. I am happy though because we have taken a big step forward and closed the gap to the top guys. We know we still have a long way to go but I am confident because the relationship with the team is great and I know we will make more progress in the next test at Jerez.”
Fausto Gresini “This has been an important test for us because Alvaro needed a lot of laps on the RC213V to get confident with the bike and above all learn the methods required to work on a Honda, which is different to what he was riding last year. He also needs more time on the 1000cc bike because he has not had as much opportunity to ride as some of the other riders. We had some technical updates to test in terms of the suspension, which we are pleased with, but we also need time and information to get the best out of them. Overall it has been a positive test because Alvaro knows that he can set a better lap time and he has improved since the last test, closing the gap to the fastest guys. It is a shame about the crash because it set him back a little but we are satisfied and optimistic about the future.”
Ducati Team concludes Sepang test with sunny weather and busy schedule
Despite a negative weather forecast, the final day of the Sepang test was the only one of the three not affected by rain. Valentino Rossi stayed on the track until the last minute in order to complete as much work as possible for the Ducati engineers, who continue working on the development of the GP12. As for Nicky Hayden, despite still not being in perfect physical condition, he continued testing into the afternoon, and on his very last exit, he had a harmless low-speed fall in Turn 1.
Both riders found the new electronics that were introduced at this test to be a breakthrough, although they didn’t find the ideal setup for improving their lap times and ended the day in tenth and eleventh positions. Still, they both reduced their gap to the front considerably compared to the first test.
The next winter test is scheduled for March 23-25 at the Spanish Jerez circuit.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th, 2:01.550 (57 laps)
“One small positive note to the day is that we reduced the gap to the front a little bit. It was 1.2 seconds, and now it’s 1 second. It’s also nice that the new electronics work well, but it hurts being down on the timesheets compared to all the others. We tried a bunch of things in order to take a step forward from the first test, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it and were actually worse. It was harder for me to ride well compared to three weeks ago, especially my corner speed. It’s true that this test was more difficult in terms of weather and track conditions, but it seemed to affect us more than the others. Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth. We were also unfortunate because at the best part of the day, when I did a 2:01.5 and we had some tyres to try to lower the time further, we had a problem with the fork that cost us some time. Maybe without that we would have cut another three or four tenths and been further up, but our pace is still about seven tenths back. Honestly, that’s not a huge amount, but anyway we’re still behind. We’re not pleased with how it went this time, but we have to try and work hard and see what happens at Jerez, where the track is very different than this one, with much different weather and temperatures. We’ll see how we do there.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 11th, 2:01.609 (44 laps)
“Of course I would prefer to have been closer to the front, but it’s my first real test of the year. The bike feels better on braking and into the corner, and I like the feedback it gives me. Also, the lap times don’t seem as affected when the track gets hot and greasy. We need to work on some chatter and on corner exits. We have plenty of ideas, as there are a lot of things we didn’t get to try this week because of the weather. Toward the end, I lost the front end in Turn 1 and crashed, but it was an easy one and I’m fine. I’m happy with how my shoulder is coming along. I hope that with three more weeks of recovering and rehab, it should be close to 100 per cent for Jerez.”
Filippo Preziosi (General Manager, Ducati Corse)
“It was sunny for the last day of the Sepang test, and after almost completely losing the first two days due to rain, we had to concentrate a lot of work into a relatively short time. Clearly, situations like that make it more difficult to achieve maximum performance because the setup changes continuously. Today Valentino is tenth and Nicky is eleventh, and obviously we would prefer to be further up. Anyway, they both liked the new electronics package that we had for this test. We’ll keep working hard between now and the next test at Jerez, where we’ll try to put everything we have together and optimize it.”