Casey Stoner was back on the bike at Sepang and immediately topped the pile. The Repsol Honda rider got his first taste of the RC213V on Wednesday, after missing the first day of testing with a recurrence of an old back problem, and was soon up to speed, ending the day on top of the timesheets and around three quarters of a second faster than Jorge Lorenzo's best time from Tuesday. The Yamahas remain strong, however: Ben Spies had the 2nd fastest time - he was briefly logged as fastest, but it emerged that his lap of 1'58.150 had been set on a flying lap after a practice start from pit lane exit, cutting a good deal of the front straight - sixteen hundredths behind Stoner, with his factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo just sixteen thousandths behind him.
Dani Pedrosa was fourth fastest of the day, taking half a second off his time from yesterday, and ending up six tenths behind Repsol teammate Stoner, and just ahead of the third Yamaha, that of Cal Crutchlow. The Monster Tech 3 man continues to impress, ending the day two thirds of a second behind Stoner and under six hundredths behind Pedrosa. Hector Barbera was the fastest of the Ducati, just edging ahead of Valentino Rossi at the end, though his time was once again set by following Rossi around and getting a tow.
Rossi drops to 7th on the timesheets on the new bike, but the sounds coming out of the Marlboro Ducati garage are still very positive, and Rossi himself improved his time from Tuesday by half a second. Alvaro Bautista took nine tenths off his best time from Tuesday and ends the day in 8th, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, both of whom are still struggling with injury. Hayden was even forced to stop testing halfway through the afternoon, as the pain in his shoulder became too much to ride.
After Mattia Pasini clocked up the first crash of a CRT bike at Valencia on Monday, Stefan Bradl became the first rider to crash a factory prototype, walking away unhurt from a crash early in the day. Bradl is learning fast: the German improved his time by one-and-a-quarter seconds on Wednesday, and the gap to the front runners is looking very respectable.
The CRT machines had a better day on Wednesday - or at least, the Suter BMW ridden by Colin Edwards did. After missing a large part of Tuesday as the crew worked on the 2012 bike, Edwards' times on the 2011 bike were dismal. Things perked up a lot on the 2012 bike, the Texan taking over two-and-a-half seconds off his time from Tuesday, but chatter remains a problem at the rear. The front felt much better, Edwards reported on Twitter, and if they can find a solution to chatter at the rear, the Texan should be able to take some more time off his best lap.
The other CRT garage had a fairly disastrous day: After brake problems on Tuesday, engine problems emerged on Wednesday, with both Ivan Silva and BQR test rider Robertino Pietri suffering blown Kawasaki engines. Whether the engines can be fixed in time for Thursday remains to be seen, but their times are still a long way off.
Results of day 2 appear below, and a comparison of day 2 times to day 1 underneath that.
Results, courtesy of MotoGP.com:
|13||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha Test||2:02.941||2.046||0.343||40|
|14||Franco Battaini||Ducati Test||2:04.311||3.416||1.370||38|
|15||Colin Edwards||Suter BMW CRT||2:05.603||4.708||1.292||37|
|16||Ivan Silva||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:10.297||9.402||4.694||16|
|17||Jordi Torres||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:11.893||10.998||1.596||2|
|18||Robertino Pietri||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:12.546||11.651||0.653||5|
Day 2 vs Day 1
|Pos||Rider||Bike||Day 1||Day 2||Improvement|
|13||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha Test||2:02.829||2:02.941||+0.112|
|14||Franco Battaini||Ducati Test||2:04.986||2:04.311||-0.675|
|15||Colin Edwards||Suter BMW CRT||2:08.240||2:05.603||-2.637|
|16||Kousuke Akiyoshi||Honda Test||2:07.163||-7.163|
|17||Ivan Silva||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:11.267||2:10.297||-0.970|
|18||Jordi Torres||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:10.671||2:11.893||+1.222|
|19||Robertino Pietri||FTR Kawasaki CRT||2:12.546|