2012 Sepang 1 MotoGP Test Day 2 Times Compared: 2012 Test vs 2011 Test

With almost everyone at Sepang improving their times on the second day of the MotoGP test, it is once again worth comparing times with test times from the same test last year. Below is both a list containing the full ranking, including times from the second day of the 2011 test at Sepang and the second day of the 2012 Sepang test, and a list showing the amount by which each of the riders have improved.

The improvement for each rider makes for interesting reading. The most obvious detail is that the riders who have improved the most are riders who were rookies last year. Cal Crutchlow is nearly a second and a half faster than he was at the same time last year, while Karel Abraham has posted a very respectable improvement of over eight tenths. The other thing that is immediately clear is how badly Toni Elias struggled on the Honda - or rather, on the Bridgestone tires - last year: Stefan Bradl is over 1.6 seconds faster than Elias was at the test last year. Bradl's adapation period has been fast, the German getting up to speed quickly, but most of all, the number illustrates Elias' plight in 2011.

Of the regulars, Valentino Rossi has made the most progress, reflecting in part the massive step forward that Ducati have made with the GP12. The magnitude of the task that Rossi faces is clear from the men behind him, however. While Rossi improved his time by over seven tenths, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies all took more or less half a second off their times from last year, a number which is probably a realistic guide to the amount the bikes have improved. Ducati Corse chief Filippo Preziosi said the models they had run comparing the 2011 bike with the original design of the 2012 machine predicted about a half a second faster lap times around Mugello, a number wholly in line with what we are seeing at Sepang.

Of the Fab Four at Sepang, Dani Pedrosa's time is the biggest surprise, the Spaniard being a quarter of a second than his best time of 2011. Pedrosa spent a lot of time in the garage during Wednesday, and the time Pedrosa set in 2011 was made very early on, under near ideal track conditions. Whether there is more to come from Pedrosa will have to wait for the final day, perhaps.

Pedrosa wasn't the only rider to post a slower time than last year, though the rest were all riders who changed manufacturers. After Suzuki pulled out, Alvaro Bautista was forced to switch to the satellite Gresini Honda, while Andrea Dovizioso lost his factory Honda ride and now sits in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha garage. Dovizioso is also still recovering from a broken collarbone, making finding his feet on the Yamaha a little difficult.

The rider who lost the most, unsurprisingly, was Colin Edwards. The Texan left Monster Tech 3 Yamaha for a genuine adventure with the NGM Forward team racing as a CRT entry. The Suter BMW needs a massive amount of work done, and the technical niggles which have plagued the team are testament to that. While the 2012 Suter has solved some of the problems, the bike is still suffering from chatter at the rear, and a lot of development work lies ahead for Edwards. That, though, is exactly what the Texan signed up for.


Improvement from day 2 of the 2012 and 2011 tests at Sepang:

2012 Rider 2012 Bike 2012 Time 2011 Rider 2011 Bike 2011 Time Improvement 2012 vs 2011
Stefan Bradl* Honda 2:02.414 Toni Elias* Honda 2:04.026 -1.612
Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.565 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:03.032 -1.467
Karel Abraham Ducati 2:02.598 Karel Abraham Ducati 2:03.466 -0.868
Valentino Rossi Ducati 2:01.886 Valentino Rossi Ducati 2:02.597 -0.711
Casey Stoner Honda 2:00.895 Casey Stoner Honda 2:01.434 -0.539
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.068 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.563 -0.495
Ben Spies Yamaha 2:01.052 Ben Spies Yamaha 2:01.508 -0.456
Hector Barbera Ducati 2:01.788 Hector Barbera Ducati 2:02.093 -0.305
Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:02.354 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:02.379 -0.025
Alvaro Bautista Honda+ 2:01.933 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki+ 2:01.687 +0.246
Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha+ 2:02.160 Andrea Dovizioso Honda+ 2:01.512 +0.648
Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.508 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.770 +0.738
Colin Edwards Suter BMW CRT+ 2:05.603 Colin Edwards Yamaha+ 2:01.722 +3.881

* Stefan Bradl took Toni Elias' spot at the LCR Honda team
+ Bautista, Dovizioso and Edwards all changed brands, Edwards switching to a CRT bike

 


Full results ranking, including times from both 2011 and 2012:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous When
1 Dani Pedrosa Honda 800 2:00.770     Test 2011
2 Casey Stoner Honda 1000 2:00.895 0.125 0.125 2012 Test
3 Ben Spies Yamaha 1000 2:01.052 0.282 0.157 2012 Test
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1000 2:01.068 0.298 0.016 2012 Test
5 Casey Stoner Honda 800 2:01.434 0.664 0.366 Test 2011
6 Ben Spies Yamaha 800 2:01.508 0.738 0.074 Test 2011
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1000 2:01.508 0.738 0.000 2012 Test
8 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 800 2:01.512 0.742 0.004 Test 2011
9 Marco Simoncelli Honda 800 2:01.522 0.752 0.010 Test 2011
10 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 800 2:01.534 0.764 0.012 Test 2011
11 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 800 2:01.563 0.793 0.029 Test 2011
12 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1000 2:01.565 0.795 0.002 2012 Test
13 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 800 2:01.687 0.917 0.122 Test 2011
14 Colin Edwards Yamaha 800 2:01.722 0.952 0.035 Test 2011
15 Hector Barbera Ducati 1000 2:01.788 1.018 0.066 2012 Test
16 Valentino Rossi Ducati 1000 2:01.886 1.116 0.098 2012 Test
17 Alvaro Bautista Honda 1000 2:01.933 1.163 0.047 2012 Test
18 Hector Barbera Ducati 800 2:02.093 1.323 0.160 Test 2011
19 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1000 2:02.160 1.390 0.067 2012 Test
20 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1000 2:02.354 1.584 0.194 2012 Test
21 Nicky Hayden Ducati 800 2:02.379 1.609 0.025 Test 2011
22 Stefan Bradl Honda 1000 2:02.414 1.644 0.035 2012 Test
23 Randy de Puniet Ducati 800 2:02.426 1.656 0.012 Test 2011
24 Valentino Rossi Ducati 800 2:02.597 1.827 0.171 Test 2011
25 Karel Abraham Ducati 1000 2:02.598 1.828 0.001 2012 Test
26 Kousuki Akiyoshi Honda 800 2:02.619 1.849 0.021 Test 2011
27 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:02.941 2.171 0.322 2012 Test
28 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 800 2:03.032 2.262 0.091 Test 2011
29 Loris Capirossi Ducati 800 2:03.047 2.277 0.015 Test 2011
30 Karel Abraham Ducati 800 2:03.466 2.696 0.419 Test 2011
31 T2 Yamaha 800 2:03.910 3.140 0.444 Test 2011
32 Toni Elias Honda 800 2:04.026 3.256 0.116 Test 2011
33 T1 Yamaha 800 2:04.142 3.372 0.116 Test 2011
34 Franco Battaini Ducati Test 2:04.311 3.541 0.169 2012 Test
35 Colin Edwards Suter BMW CRT 2:05.603 4.833 1.292 2012 Test
36 Ivan Silva FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:10.297 9.527 4.694 2012 Test
37 Jordi Torres FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:11.893 11.123 1.596 2012 Test
38 Robertino Pietri FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:12.546 11.776 0.653 2012 Test

 

2012
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