2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 1 Times: Stoner Leads As Rain Halts Proceedings

Casey Stoner sits on top of the timesheets at the end of a weather-affected first day of testing at Sepang. The Repsol Honda man ended the day ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa, with the factory Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies behind. Alvaro Bautista put the satellite Gresini Honda into 5th, ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden, while Cal Crutchlow ended the session in 7th, just ahead of Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa and Lorenzo were the only riders to get within a second of Stoner's best time, however.

With heavy rainfall interrupting proceedings shortly after lunchtime, track time was limited; few riders put in much more than 30 laps, with Casey Stoner and Avintia's Yonny Hernandez - the Colombian having saved his MotoGP ride by promising to pay the sponsorship he will bring in installments - the most garage-bound of riders with just 16 apiece. The rain came on top of a track that was already dirty from car races held at the Sepang circuit just over a week ago, and the intense track temperatures meant that grip levels were much lower. With difficult conditions, posting fast times was hard, despite the lower grip removing some of the chatter which the riders had suffered at the previous test.

The rain did prove useful for some: Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi took advantage of the conditions to get some experience in the wet with the new Ducati GP12, while Stefan Bradl also got his first taste of riding a MotoGP bike in the wet.

Karel Abraham started the test, but was forced to withdraw with pain in his back and shoulders, the result of a big crash he had at last week's CRT test at Jerez. Testing for the rest of the field will continue tomorrow, but with thunderstorms forecast for every day this week, track action is likely to be limited for all three days of the test.

Official times, courtesy of MotoGP.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Previous Laps
1 Casey Stoner Honda 2:01.761     16
2 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:02.005 0.244 0.244 36
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:02.436 0.675 0.431 22
4 Ben Spies Yamaha 2:02.819 1.058 0.383 31
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:02.959 1.198 0.140 24
6 Nicky Hayden Ducati GP12 2:03.132 1.371 0.173 55
7 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:03.213 1.452 0.081 27
8 Valentino Rossi Ducati GP12 2:03.245 1.484 0.032 39
9 Hector Barbera Ducati GP 0 2:03.612 1.851 0.367 24
10 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:03.820 2.059 0.208 31
11 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2:03.830 2.069 0.010 23
12 Colin Edwards Suter BMW 2:05.510 3.749 1.680 25
13 Franco Battaini Ducati Test 2:05.563 3.802 0.053 11
14 Ivan Silva FTR Kawasaki 2:08.109 6.348 2.546 32
15 Yonny Hernandez FTR Kawasaki 2:08.767 7.006 0.658 16


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So why Sepang for the winter testing site? Always seems so unpredictable weather-wise, and seems like it would be more expensive to get everyone/everything over there.

Good to see Bautista progressing well with the Honda. Always thought he was a better rider than he was given credit while on the Suzuki.

Looks like my coffee maker will be working over-time during the races.

I'm starting to get that feeling of "the more things change, the more they stay the same", like one of those prophets of doom wrote here some months ago.

I thought the 1st Sepang test looked a bit too much "sunshine and bunnies" when reading the Ducati reports and, although I dont believe it, I really hope they got their act together at the 1st race of the season.
I doubt the riders hierarchy in the top 10 positions will change much (to last year), but it doesn't matter so long as the racing gets more competitive, closer and fierce.

...the strangest thing in all this (or maybe not!) is that I keep looking down at the laptimes, to a certain Colin Edwards, and getting the impression we'll see major improvements coming from there. 8-)
Can't wait to see him and RDP together on track, giving some stick on the "slowpoke" racebikes (bring it on already!).

I read about it and would love to see a clip of it. I reckon he's going to go from strength to strength this season on HRC kit within Gresini's outfit. Should he do very well early on, I would love to see HRC bless him with full factory support a la Marco Simoncelli last year.