2013 Barcelona Post-Race Test Times, Final: Lorenzo Edges Hayden, Suzuki Up To Speed

Jorge Lorenzo has topped the timesheets at the end of the Barcelona MotoGP test, but the talking point of the test was Suzuki. On its first public run out, Randy de Puniet clocked a time of 1'42.676, just over three quarters of a second off the time set by Lorenzo, an impressive debut.

Nicky Hayden set the second fastest time, close behind Lorenzo and ahead of Stefan Bradl. Both Hayden and Dovizioso ran back-to-back tests with the existing Ducati GP13 and the lab bike, but neither man was convinced that the lab bike was a step forward. Cal Crutchlow took 5th spot, having spent the day working on the start of the race, as had his teammate Bradley Smith. Both men had made several exits with a completely full tank, to work on improving the first eight or so laps of the race, the point at which the Yamaha riders are struggling. 

Valentino Rossi ended the day in 6th, working mainly on set up, but a crash in the afternoon disrupted his testing program. The Italian had gone out with a radically different weight distribution, but crashed in Turn 3, a fast turn. Rossi himself was unhurt, but the bike had been badly damaged while rolling through the gravel, leaving him unable to complete the test. Aleix Espargaro finished in 7th place, just over six tenths off the pace of Lorenzo, an impressive feat on the Aprilia CRT machine. Espargaro said he had even been using an old spec engine with less power during the test, saving his higher spec engines for the race. But a new frame had offered some improvement for the ART, and allowed Espargaro to get in among the prototypes.

The test had been complicated by the weather conditions, the track temperature being considerably cooler than on race day. That meant an improvement in grip, making comparisons with performance in the race extremely difficult. Yamaha now pack up and head to Aragon, to join the Honda teams at the Motorland Aragon circuit. With rain forecast to fall around Alcañiz for the next few days, the factory Yamaha team maybe pleased they decided to stay at Barcelona on Monday.

Final times at the end of testing at Barcelona:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:41.904    
2 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:41.955 0.051 0.051
3 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:42.227 0.323 0.272
4 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:42.417 0.513 0.190
5 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:42.462 0.558 0.045
6 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:42.513 0.609 0.051
7 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 1:42.537 0.633 0.024
8 14 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1:42.676 0.772 0.139
9 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:42.697 0.793 0.021
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1:43.180 1.276 0.483
11 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1:43.784 1.880 0.604
12 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 1:43.899 1.995 0.115
13 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1:44.183 2.279 0.284
14 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 1:44.458 2.554 0.275
15 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 1:44.477 2.573 0.019
16 70 Michael Laverty PBM 1:44.547 2.643 0.070
17 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 1:44.794 2.890 0.247
18 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 1:45.078 3.174 0.284
19 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 1:47.379 5.475 2.301


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It's great to see Suzuki back. However, to really understand where they are, development wise, the bike needs to be ridden by the best rider available. No disrespect to RdP, but he is not on par with the aliens and their times are used as the benchmark. What would have been great, although totally unrealistic, would have been to contract out to Casey Stoner as test rider. He's not so far removed from the sport that he couldn't have rung its little neck to give the best real assesment as to what the bike is capable of. Just as unrealistic is the possibility that Honda or Yamaha would lend out either of their best two riders to test the bike. I suppose the point I am really trying to make is that if Suzuki expects to do well, they will have to employ an alien when they return and they will have to pony up some major coin to do so. If they don't, they will get the same results the last time they were in the big show and I fear their visit will be short. I wish them success. We need them to do well. Maybe a healthy Ben Spies could work Suzuki magic again.

Don't get me wrong, he's obviously a quality rider, but he rides different to anyone I've ever seen. His style is "unique" to put it best. I remember reading about Hopkins when he first went to Kawasaki stating how bizare RdP's set-up was. I hope they don't pigeon-hole their develpoment direction...

Still good to see a Suzie circulating around the track :)

If the can get Rdp to test, why not try Espargaro, we all know he can beat all crts even some prototypes! Or maybe Biaggi, Elias, Camier, but then these guys would be slower than Rdp I guess. Btw, I thought it would be next year! what's with 2015?? who's contract ended 2014? Rossi? Dovi? Pedro? mmm interesting...

RDP is a good rider, but the hard facts are he got beat by Espargaro the first year together. RDP has a good record in the lower formulas. Esparagaro I think has a single podium after years of racing. So you would think RDP would be killing Aleix, but it is the other way around. Aleix has more points and qualifies better. He also doesn't crash often. RDP still crashes. This year RDP avg. points finish is 12.3 and Aleix's is 10th. RDP has 3 dnfs and Aleix zero. Maybe Suzuki knows something we don't.

If I had to guess the motivation would be 1. Rdp is willing to test and 2. He has a lot of experience with different machines(Honda, Kawasaki, ducati, art)

(...said the old Ducati sponsor. Sorry, looking glass humour.)

With the Suzuki nearly within half a second of the best prototype time of Lorenzo and many speculating that an alien may be worth around half a second a lap it is even more perplexing as to why Suzuki is waiting given it looks as though it is there or there abouts. All rather strange but pleased the Suzuki isn't far off.

Fuel consumption. Based on David's other article, they are out to make a good first appearance and not worrying about fuel. As for RDP, he is fast and has crashed drastically less since becoming a Bridgestone rider. Also, he had is LCR in Top 5 frequently a few years ago.

Totally agree. People seem to forget that RDP was putting that LCR Honda, which was a proper privateers Honda, on the front row of the grid in amongst all the aliens.
Always wondered how he would have faired that year had he not snapped his leg at Sachsenring...

I believe as long as Suzuki is not an official entry, they can test an unlimited amount of time. Now the real question is whether 2013 bridgestones are being made available to them or not and what tires will they be using to test in 2014.

Really? Sounds like someone over at Dorna is whispering sweet nothings in David's normally more critical ear.

What we can see is that on a Suzuki GP bike, Randy dePuniet's relative position in the field is no better than if he were on his normal, tried and true Aprilia V4-powered, Aprilia-framed motorcycle.
This should be confirmation to Aspar that he needs to keep pushing down the Aprilia track. HIs next target has to be the factory Ducatis.

Suzuki? Are they serious or is this just a clever way to test next year's GSX-R1000 engine in full public view ?

Perhaps they have remembered the day they publicly tested the first MotoGP prototype at Sepang more than a decade ago. The supposed Grand Prix bike was slower around the track than Mat Mladin on a GSX-R1000 Superbike. So, not much has changed.

Did someone drop fire ants in Espagaro's pants? A CRT-soon-to-be-non-MSMA within 0.633 of the leader is very impressive.

inb4 testing isn't racing. We know.

I don't think that the criticism of RDP is warranted. For years he has been a very underrated rider. Some impart to his crashes but that was remedied when everyone...everyone received the same tyres. RDP showed his speed and worth with the Honda. The Ducati, well it hasn't suited anyone other than Stoner. Look to Dovi's latest results.

I would love to see RDP and Espargaro on the Suzuki.
Cal on/in the factory Yamaha..
Rossi to WSBK or retire.

The only real question is whether the pneumatic valves on the ART will make up for the horsepower gap.
2015 is too far off

... should one be needed for RdP is that I suspect he could be under contract with Suzuki. He tested post season, just prior to their departure. Often riders only test after being signed. Perhaps he is being paid by Suzuki 2012/3 or in part and as such it would be natural he be chosen to test.

Regardless, I am sure he deserves a prototype despite his struggles vs Espargaro on the Aprilia.