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:
|6||Nicky Hayden||Ducati GP12||2:03.132||1.371||0.173||55|
|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|
|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|