Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets on the second day of the MotoGP test at Jerez, the first time he has topped a session in the dry since 2010. The Factory Yamaha rider just edged his teammate Jorge Lorenzo by a few thousandths of a second, and the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow by a few fractions more. Dani Pedrosa was the first non-Yamaha man, the Repsol Honda rider just over a tenth of a second slower than Rossi. That four men should finish so close together is an intriguing prospect, and promises much for the upcoming season.
Andrea Dovizioso ended the day in 5th, pleased with the gap of just eight tenths to the Yamahas and factory Honda, and ending ahead Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda. Marc Marquez had his first difficult day on the Repsol Honda, having to adapt the Moto2 lines he had learned around Jerez and change section by section to a more MotoGP style, with less lean angle and more drive. Marquez still finished ahead of LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl, though only by a few hundredths of a second. Andrea Iannone took 9th slot on the Pramac Ducati, a second and a half behind Rossi, while the second Factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden ended the day in 10th, despite a moment around the stadium section where he was nearly thrown out of the seat.
Hayden was one of the lucky ones. Bautista, Iannone, Bradl and Randy de Puniet all ended up in the gravel, victims of the difficult conditions. Though the sun was out from early in the morning, the track was still soaking, taking a very long time to dry out. That meant that the three hours or so before lunch were spent sitting about in pit lane with only a few people venturing out on track, waiting for the track to dry. Ironically, the corner which took the longest to dry out was the one at the bottom of the circuit, the tight right hander at the end of the back straight. The corner's name? Dry Sack.
The problem is in part down to the very high level of groundwater at Jerez, as this part of southern Spain has seen heavy rain throughout the winter, washing away some parts of the hillsides which surround the circuit, and making drainage very difficult. Though the water clears from the track, it then starts seeping from underneath, making the track highly unpredictable in terms of grip, catching many riders out and causing a lot of them problems with rear grip. With the weather expected to be even better on Monday, and no overnight rain expected to wet the track, conditions should be a little more manageable for the final day of the test.
Times at end of Day 2:
|11||8||Hector Barbera||FTR Kawasaki||1:41.376||1.851||0.051|
|13||41||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia ART||1:41.444||1.919||0.046|
|14||9||Danilo Petrucci||Suter BMW||1:41.529||2.004||0.085|
|15||51||Michele Pirro||Ducati Test||1:41.603||2.078||0.074|
|16||14||Randy De Puniet||Aprilia ART||1:41.686||2.161||0.083|
|17||71||Claudio Corti||FTR Kawasaki||1:41.701||2.176||0.015|
|19||17||Karel Abraham||Aprilia ART||1:41.916||2.391||0.214|
|20||68||Yonny Hernandez||Aprilia ART||1:42.050||2.525||0.134|
|21||67||Bryan Staring||FTR Honda||1:42.107||2.582||0.057|
|22||5||Colin Edwards||FTR Kawasaki||1:42.154||2.629||0.047|
|23||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||FTR Kawasaki||1:43.959||4.434||1.805|
|25||52||Lukas Pesek||FTR Kawasaki||1:44.874||5.349||0.689|
Lap records at Jerez:
|Lap record||2010||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||1:39.731|
|Pole record||2008||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||1:38.189|